Seeing as we’re still in the first month of the year, I thought I’d give my take on what I think about people who give in to the whole ‘new year, new me!’ mantra.
I think it’s complete and utter bull droppings.
Let me be frank from the start. I’m not a fan of New Year’s resolutions. I’ve never been and never will be for that matter, mainly because I think that for a person to want a significant change or to have some sort of impact on their own or someone else’s life, the time of year is really and truly irrelevant. Truth be told however, the start of a new year always gets me thinking, and this makes me want to evaluate and/or re-evaluate my experiences within the past 365 days.
As I pensively look back, I realise how much a year allows an individual to grow as a person. Speaking for myself, I’ve had good times and bad, thankfully more good than bad actually, and for that I am grateful. When it comes to the good times, I embrace and relish them with arms wide open. As for the bad… Well, cliché as it may sound, I generally try to learn from them and use them as a pivotal point in my life.
As we grow a year older, we start to appreciate the more important things in life. I will only scratch the surface of a few aspects I believe to be noteworthy. Like the past years, 2015 was no different to my learning process whilst attending the School of Life.
Don’t give in to commercialism
You don’t have to buy gifts for your family and friends on occasions dictated by Hallmark to show your love and appreciation towards them. It’s a pity to see how every occasion during the year has become belittled into another excuse for businesses to use to their advantage for financial gain. Take Christmas, for example. Honestly, I never see so many people running around the streets of Sliema and Valletta as I do at Christmas time. You’d think a war’s about to break out, for crying out loud!
The panic to get to the shops in time before Christmas, getting your gifts wrapped and tagged on Christmas Eve, rushing to the shops in the last half hour to buy the gift that slipped your mind in all the hustle and bustle, making sure a gift receipt is given and not lost… The list is endless and a bloody headache. Don’t get me wrong, I like putting thought into gifts, and I love buying and giving gifts so very much. But what I don’t like is being forced into gift giving. It makes the whole element of surprise and anticipation a tad bit contrived and superficial.
The charity of your choice
Donate to the organisation directly, and not through some telethon that guilts you into donating and makes you feel like a monster for not succumbing to their manipulative tactic. Enough of these sodding guilt trips! Just give what you, as an individual, feel is right in your own time. I never follow these artificially sweetened fundraisers for this very reason. Perhaps this year you might want to give to a local charity or an animal shelter. Maybe you might want to donate to an international organisation or an NGO that might support a cause you adamantly believe in. What’s so wrong in that? Absolutely nothing, I say!
You live and learn
The beginning of a new year always allows you to have a new take on life, and sure, many might feel the urge to make changes. But as I’ve said before, these changes don’t necessarily need to happen on the 1st of January. No one wants to start the year feeling like a failure only days into the start of a new year, because let’s face it, resolutions are a fad. I’ve yet to meet someone who’s kept to them for longer than a couple of weeks, and that’s being unrealistically generous, because it’s usually a mere couple of days! This is not to mention the sinking feeling that you’ve let yourself or others down. Instead, acknowledge your weaknesses by evaluating your trials and errors and counteracting your failures by setting realistic and attainable goals. Beating yourself up about it if you’re not successful on the first try, or even first few tries, will only make you feel down in the dumps.
A new year always makes me feel the urge to re-evaluate myself as a person. I ask myself where I could learn, develop and improve. To do this, I usually think about instances over the past year that left the most impact, whether positive or not. When I do this, I assess how I dealt with them, whether or not it was the right way, and ultimately whether I could have done anything more or less. Many a time, people are immune to their shortcomings (myself included), and sometimes it takes particular situations and other people to help one recognise them. Conversely, when it comes to our strong suits, these should be acknowledged just as well, because they will only allow us to maintain our strengths as a person and grow more progressively.
So there you have it, a peek into the few contemplations of my New Year. I hope to continue learning and experiencing a multitude of things in 2016, and I wish my readers equally fruitful experiences too. All the best, everyone!