Taking Stock

We were at a low key New Year’s brunch today- the perfect event for what felt like a lazy Sunday. I love that I have another three days before my 9-5 intrudes- and my condolences to anyone who has an early return to business as usual.

We talked about all things inappropriate (they are those kind of friends- thank god!) and I brought up the subject of that time honoured tradition, New Years Resolutions.


Apparently I am the only one in the group who makes them. I’ll write down resolutions for the upcoming year and then lose my list- very effective.

January 1st wasn’t always celebrated as the start of the new year. It has been December 25th and March 25th (for followers of the solar calendar) before Pope Gregory XIII changed it back to January 1st in the sixteenth century.

I actually make a bigger deal out of Chinese New Year. The Chinese go by a lunar calendar so it falls on January 26th this year- interesting that this is also the day that Parliament is “un-prorogued”…Hmmm…

This makes the day somewhat arbitrary but this is the time we tend to reflect on the year that has passed (what went right, what went wrong) and look forward to the year ahead. 

We are inundated with programs on t.v. about the best and the worst moments in celebrity scandals entertainment, sports, politics etc. There is a Top 10 (or 20 or 50 or 100) list for everything and anything under the sun in the wrap-up of the year. They are cheap and easy to produce and one only needs to engage a small portion of the brain to understand what is happening- so they are great to have on in the background when one has dinner with the fam.

They drum up controversy (as all lists do) but they also remind us of those things we may have forgotten.

All the conversations I had about New Year celebrations were punctuated by disbelief that the year was drawing to a close. Where had the time gone?

Our perception of the passage of time seems to be directly related to age. The older we get the more quickly time seems to fly by- and that time becomes more precious. I remember sitting on the steps of a portable bemoaning the fact that the summer holiday was upon us and how bored I was going to be while school was out. When I was a kid, the summers seemed to go on forever- yes, I was that much of a geek!

I haven’t made any resolutions yet but I figure I have another 25 days to think about them. Some (I would hazard to guess, non-resolution makers) think resolutions just set people up for failure. The percentages of those who are successful are slim but who say’s I couldn’t buck the trend? They may be right but there are many industries dedicated to helping people reach their goals. 

Think about it… How else are gyms going to suck you into that yearly membership that you will probably stop using before Valentines Day? Notice the increased frequency of infomercials and commercials involving exercise “systems” and useless kitchen appliances promising to cut the fat but not the flavour AND do it all in 30 minutes or less? They’re not stupid, they are hoping to suck in everyone who makes that (most popular) resolution to lose weight.

Though the failure rate of New Years Resolutions is high, they help put my bigger life goals into perspective. I may lose the list and I may not complete all my resolutions but shutting out the chatter of the everyday long enough to put one together reminds me what is important.

On that note, I will open my TFSA by the end of next week (and so should you!) and resolve to do more things because I WANT to do them and not because I HAVE to do them.


~ by angryegg on January 1, 2009.

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