Posted by Ian
It’s been a long time since I felt as gloomy about the state of the world as I did at the turn of this year. The planet hasn’t been in such a state of turbulence and unease since the early 80s when the Cold War was back in fashion and nuclear annihilation was the talk of the playground.
Perhaps because of this, and in order to impose some kind of order on a 2007 that looks like it’ll be characterised by increasing disorder both home and abroad, I’ve made more New Year’s resolutions than I’ve ever done in my life before.
I never used to make any. I didn’t believe in them. I thought they were pointless, distracting and prohibitive. I considered them a restriction on how you should live your life, and the kind of thing done by people who were afraid of taking things as they came. I also thought that if you wanted to give something up or change your life then you shouldn’t need the prop of 1st January to do it.
Now, however, I have changed my mind. I have found that as I get older, time, rather than slowing down, has got quicker. 2006 flew by faster than any year I can remember. This scares me, and – coupled with my anxiety about the condition of the world through which I’m going to have to pick my way – has encouraged me to get a better grip on events.
If I can get more control on time and my quality of life, I reason, maybe 2007 will amount to more than just a sequence of blurred headlines charting the way the planet seems to be rapidly descending into rack and ruin.
As such I’ve concoted various resolutions, from the practical (improving the quality of my journey to work by splitting the four-mile commute into two miles on the Underground, two miles on foot) to the gastronomical (a healthier diet) to the personal (getting to bed on a school night well before 11pm).
At the moment, a measly four days in, I already feel I have a little more say over my own life and am navigating a course through the year more on my own terms rather than those of somebody or something else. It’s not going to improve the state of the world, of course, but will – hopefully – improve my ability to deal with what happens to the world in 2007, whatever may come to pass.
Maybe you feel differently. Maybe you’re already having problems sticking to New Year’s resolutions, or that there’s no point bothering with them at all. Feel free to send in your thoughts and comments. After all, more communication is one resolution everybody can profit from.