Despite the fact I didn’t take on any very big new year resolutions, I’m still feeling the “January Guilts”. The “January Guilts”, for the very few of you who may not suffer, stem from a combination of one or more of the following: 1 A slight regret about eating chocolate for breakfast every day for two weeks during Christmas.
2 Getting sucked into magazine articles telling you that now is a good time to be a better person through exercising, reading more, learning a new skill and eating more quinoa.
3 Being surrounded by smug people who are being irritatingly perfect during January.
4 Looking at your bank balance and feeling sad/flustered/regretful.
5 Trying on previously well-fitting clothes and staring back at a more plump physique and more strained zips than you remembered pre-party season.
January is a bleak time indeed.
You could have the strength of conviction of the most stubborn of mules but, with the overwhelming tide of TV programmes, Facebook updates, adverts and magazines telling you to lose 2kg, travel more, do Pilates and learn a new language, it takes a stronger woman than I not to feel a teensy weensy bit inadequate.
Furthermore, I have some friends who make ultra glam lawyer, activist, author and wife of George Clooney, Amal (Alamuddin) Clooney, look like one of life’s slackers. I just spent Christmas with a beautiful friend who is a lawyer and gym fiend, has travelled the world, read every book you care to mention, makes jams and preserves, hosts supper clubs and does up houses which she then sells on for a tidy profit. I always tell her that she’s the most accomplished person I know. Such people make me wonder what on earth I am doing with my 24 hours a day that I can’t get a fraction of that done. I feel like I’m busy all the time, but don’t get a jot done.
Meeting people who manage to lead such a fulfilling life fills me with equal parts envy, bemusement and hope (OK, maybe slightly more envy than anything else). In response to it, I have very little to say — I mean, I’m too lazy to work much harder than I already do and, I already feel like my 24 hours are filled up to bursting point with the gym, work, my dog and sleep. My boyfriend sometimes gets a look-in, too. But, when you hear about lawyers doing three times as much as you it kind of puts a hole in your I’m-too-busy-and-important story you keep telling yourself and everyone else.
And so, I am amending my new year resolutions which were previously “more of everything” by adding “more variety”. By the end of the year I want to have taken flying classes, eaten at more diverse restaurants (I’m usually a creature of habit who has to be surgically removed from my favourite café), take an art class, travel to places I’ve never been before. I want to push my comfort zones a little and have a year of really memorable experiences to look back on; that’s what makes a life accomplished and colourful. Oh, and yes — I’ve obviously totally been sucked in by all this new year hype (New Year, New Me!). I always do.