Monday, 30 December 2013

Happy New Year...

...A few days early with that, aren’t I?

In my opinion I’m not. Why can’t we say that every day? Every day is the start of another year long period in our lives so why should we wait for just one of them? Why make resolutions on December thirty-first? What was wrong with September the eighth or sometime mid March? Answer, absolutely nothing.

What if, in November, you decide you want to quit smoking but you’ll do it in the New Year? What if, having decided on that New Years resolution, that on December the eleventh you smoke “that” cigarette. The one that causes the cells to mutate and begin their destruction of your lungs. The one cigarette from which there is no return. By February you’re still coughing up horrid, speckled phlegm. You stand, looking at your sputum in the sink or toilet or handkerchief and, feeling proud of yourself, think that’s just the badness coming out. And that cough, you’ve had it a month but that’s just you acclimatising yourself to a life without smoke, isn’t it? No need to bother the doctor. No, you’re getting fitter. (You probably are getting fitter, but the cancer isn’t causing you any problems yet. It will.)

Don’t you wish you’d quit in November?

Next year we’ll get better jobs, eat healthier, make an effort to build bridges with loved ones and learn to dance. Won’t it be wonderful? It was wonderful last year when we gave up smoking, joined a pilates class, cut the driftwood from our social circles and learnt to paint, wasn’t it?

If you’re lucky enough to have been able to purchase a ticket for £40.00 to visit your local hostelry on NYE (the hostelry you’ve spent money in all year long, there’s gratitude for you) then think about this at two minutes to midnight.

That girl crying in the corner, drunk and ready to throw herself at the first man to smile at her, wasn’t she here last year? Doing the same thing? Maybe not, but there was certainly another girl in a very similar situation sat in the same pub crying tears for the same reasons.

Those three lads that have had too much to drink and are going to kick the living daylights out of some stranger on their way home later, didn’t they do that last year?

The life and soul of the party, stood over there by the fruit machine, he’s having a great time, isn’t he? He’s been here all night, drank more than he’s used to and, in about an hours time, he’ll be sat alone crying over the children he’s lost or the bills he can’t pay since his accident caused him to give up work. You’ll see him again tomorrow, in the corner shop buying milk. He’ll wish you Happy New Year again, forgetting he saw you last night. He’ll tell you all about the fantastic night he had and the hangover he’s suffering. A little ray of sunshine. But his happy tales are  edited. If he tells you about being sick when he got home he’ll laugh as he does because it’s hilarious. He’ll not tell you he went to bed alone without brushing his teeth and cried himself to sleep. Because who cares?

There is no “New Year”. There is a new date, a date that’s not been used before, but nothing has changed.

You’re a year older? No you’re not, you’re a day older. And tomorrow you’ll be another day older.

This will be “your year”? Probably not. If your life’s shit then chances are it’ll be even more shit next year. Decay isn’t just for the dead, we’re all doing it.

I’m aware I may be coming across as a miserable bastard, I’m not miserable at all. (I am a bastard though.) I have a shit life. Maybe it’ll get better next year, maybe it’ll get worse, but either way it won’t be as a result of my surviving another period of three hundred and sixty five days. The universe doesn’t give a shit about you, me, the crying girl in the pub or whether you’re trying to be a better person. It’s all in your hands. If something needs changing, change it. And change it now. Seize the day. By the throat. Grab it, shake it and shout in it’s face if you need to. Let a little bit of spittle escape as you shout and land in the day’s eye. Be angry when you need to. Be gentle when you need to. Tell people if you’re sad, but don’t expect help. Don’t expect them to care. They almost certainly won’t. They’ll say they do, but once you’ve parted company and they’re chatting to their families they’ll not be chatting about you. Don’t believe me? Remember that colleague whose grandmother died? No? Really? But when he/she told you about it you reassured them, made all the right, caring, noises and told them if they needed anything to let you know. Remember?

All that said, I actually believe January the first is a magical day. A special day. I really do. The sun comes up in the morning. The world is a beautiful place on the 1st of January. You’re loved ones love you on January 1st.  And second. And third. September 10th is magical. March the 21st  also. Oh, and November 13th…

See what I mean?


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