I’ve never been a big fan of New Years Eve. Personally, I can’t think of a more overrated occasion. Something bad seems to happen every NYE, or at the very least it falls short of expectations.
On the same note, I’ve never really been one for New Years resolutions. Maybe it’s because I don’t smoke, I don’t really need to lose weight, and I’m already pretty good at keeping in touch with friends and family – more likely it’s because I don’t need the excuse of NYE to impose lofty and exacting goals on myself.
This week I read an article by Deepak Chopra about the power of intentions over resolutions. The main contention of the article is that intentions, when considered daily, take hold as habits over time. Resolutions, on the other hand, start out as powerful intentions but typically falter over time.
I think Dr Chopra is probably correct, as usual (my obsession with Deepak Chopra is well documented, as is my enthusiasm for purchasing his literature) but there are other things that draw me to intentions over resolutions.
To me, an intention seems less rigid than a resolution. It’s something you are consistently aiming towards, but if you slip up a couple of times it’s no biggie. There is less expectation bound up in an intention. It is something you are setting your sights towards, but the pressure is turned down a notch. I also like the idea of an intention as a positive goal, rather than something you are restricting, or abstaining from entirely.
In the article, Dr Chopra offers four intentions that encompass body, emotions, mind and spirit. I’m sure his are admirable intentions, but I wanted to personalise mine a little bit. This was a really useful exercise for me to consider the areas where I would like to focus my energy in 2015. (On a related note, I also really want to read this book in the New Year).
1. I want to feel comfortable speaking German
Originally, I had written “I want to speak German” – but what does that even mean? The problem at the moment is that I am still too shit scared to speak to people I know in German, so clearly I just need to get over myself and start doing it. If I live in Germany for two years and don’t get to the stage where I can speak comfortably in German then clearly that would be a big fat wasted opportunity.
2. I want to take the pressure off myself
I'm the kind of person who puts a lot of pressure on myself. Pressure to excel, pressure to live up to expectations, pressure to make people happy, pressure to appear happy myself, pressure to get exactly eight hours of sleep every night (yes, that one sounds particularly ridiculous, but actually it has given me a lot of trouble the last couple of months..). My therapist tells me I would do myself some good to "just be" every once in a while. In 2015 I would like to give myself some space to be imperfect. To just be human.
3. I want to make the most of being single
Those of you who know me well might be thinking I have done a very good job of being single this year... Actually, I disagree. I think it’s a good thing to be open to meeting new people, but I’m sick of feeling like I need constant notifications on my phone in order to feel complete.
Lately, a lot of my friends seem to be getting into relationships. Being single is the easiest and the best thing in the world when all your best girlfriends share the same status. But when they start talking about date nights and couples trips to Sydney it gets you thinking about how nice that sounds, and how unfair it is that you haven’t met someone worthy of sharing these things with. (Then it also get you thinking how much of a total bitch you are, and wondering why you can’t just be happy for your friends for finding awesome guys.. for the record, I am very happy for all of you, the guys you have found really are awesome, and you totally deserve it all :))
But you know what - there’s a time and a place for everything, and whether I like it or not, I am single right now, so why not make the most of it? And when I say make the most of it I don’t mean that I want to fill my Little Black Book from cover to cover and re-install Tinder. I mean that I want to focus on the things that really work best without a man in my life. The kind of things that, when I get into my next relationship, I will inevitably yearn for: living by myself, having complete control of my social calendar, being able to pick up my life and move overseas, reading the entire contents of my bookshelf, being able to flirt with no guilt, being able to shop with no guilt, being able to spend two hours getting ready with no guilt, being able to sleep stretched diagonally across the bed, knowing that I will get to feel the incomparable bliss of falling in love again (at least) one more time…
4. I want to surround myself with people who appreciate and respect me
My single friends (or anyone who has ever been single) (or anyone who has ever exhibited poor judgement) will know the power of an absolute asshole. The assholes who treat you like shit but who you just can’t seem to shake off. It's as if every interaction with them is an opportunity to right the wrongs of the past, or a chance to save face from the last ten million times you were left feeling like a complete idiot. Newsflash: it’s not!
I imagine shaking off an asshole is not unlike the experience of an alcoholic giving up booze. You feel really shit initially, but once you kick the bad habit for good, you feel better and more complete than you ever remember feeling at any stage of the roller coaster ride of recent history.
And assholes are not limited to one’s love life either. They can just as easily be found in social circles, at work, on the road, and all throughout the hospitality industry. In 2015 I want to have the personal integrity to refuse assholes in any shape or form. I will always have room in my heart for people who I respect and who respect me back, but I don’t want to waste any real estate on people who don’t deserve it. Expect some eviction notices to be issued in 2015.
Now that I've got that off on my chest, let's leave things on a more positive note ;) In the spirit of NYE, let me leave you with some of my favourite memories from the past 12 months... Happy New Year everyone :)
So what is your opinion about New Years Eve? Are you a fan? What are your New Years Resolutions?