Every week I take a concept or event so I can say good things about it. Even negative aspects can be helpful sometimes. Welcome to Appreciating.
Here we are again. You’ve been here before. It’s the time of year when you convince yourself that you are the paragon of discipline and consistency. You make claims and trick yourself into believing that you’ll lose 10 kilos, or learn a new instrument, or eat healthier and consume salads everyday. You may also engage in vague, meaningless claptrap such as “Love more”, “Choose happiness”, “Travel more”, or the like. Welcome to New Year’s Day.
If you think about it, it’s always “more, more, more” and “less, less, less”. It’s always radically different to what the current situation is. You find yourself skewing on one end, and you aim for balance with all your good intentions. Then you overcompensate and shoot down that paved path and end up in hell. Then, being overwhelmed, you give up, and slingshot back down in reverse gear, but surprise! Still in hell.
New Year is a time of reset. It’s a ploy of tricking the brain into simplifying everything. “The calendar has reset, hence everything can!”, you tell yourself. The bad news? It’s often empty promises and paper enthusiasm. The good news? It’s surprisingly effective if you know what you’re doing.
Unfortunately, one forgets that they’re still the same uncoordinated man-child they were the previous year. Lack of planning leads to lack of results, leading to lack of motivation, and ultimately lack of persistence. Less, and less, and less.
If you’ve ever been a corporate1, chances are you know what SMART goals are. New Years Resolutions are wishes and dreams. They’re hopeful thoughts that you release into the wind of the universe. The universe works on karma and balance – when you put something into it, you get something back2. However, the universe is a big place, and if you don’t make yourself into a beacon to home to, the karmic returns of your thought investment will never find you. All you’ll be left with are distractive forces and unrelated energies.
Resolutions are nice, but make them SMART to actually get going3.
1 That’s slang that we corporates use, among others. It means a salaryman.
2 Newton’s third law, anyone?
3 Link to a guide to SMART goals.
Going off on a different angle, I’m used to New Year’s being a party. My family has always treated New Year’s Eve as special (I would guess, for the reset reason). I’m used to treating it as an evening of celebration.
Hence, it was a rude shock to me, and my sister, this year, when we found people unwilling to change their routines around the evening. On my end, people were still working in their offices till 2 AM, or sitting at home watching Crime Patrol while eating ice cream. I had no one to celebrate with this year.
I took a bath and did laundry, and only listened to music on Spotify (Baltimora’s Tarzan Boy though). In the morning, I cleaned and worked. That’s it. It was all incredibly boring and frustrating and all that, though it did get my home organized the way I wanted it.
Now I know about New Year’s parties. I know about the hype and the craze surrounding nightclub parties. I also know that they ultimately end up as disappointments. For all their “specialness”, they’re painfully similar – The boy to girl ratio is a hundred times worse than that of India, they’re all “exclusive”, the alcohol that they so liberally advertise ends quickly, and the music is a rehash of popular Bollywood numbers going in reverse chronological order. The astronomical entry fees are ultimately money wasted.
It’s all the same generic turd – they don’t even bother polishing it differently than their peers. So I’m very happy to not be conned by the marketing, and spend a fun night with my family at home playing board games or whatever. The only issue is that now, I live alone – this was my first New Year’s Day alone. Being a responsible, ambitious adult is not all it is cracked up to be.
I was so miffed about the prospect of being alone as I usher in the new year, earlier in the day, I chided a cab driver who said he’d be working late. I told him that he should be with his family at 12, because he can, whereas I don’t have the choice. He agreed, saying he’s only working till 10. But I’m more concerned with me saying something like that to him – it’s uncharacteristic of me.
I’m changing. New year, new me. More, and more, and more. Less, and less, and less.
Thank you for reading.