Pope Francis had 10 suggestions to live by to make this a better year: I’m sure the Dalai Llama did too, not to mention the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Grand Mufti, and the Patriarch of All the East, to mention but a few.
January 1st is just another day, but it is a date people like to celebrate as the end and the beginning. Janus is the Roman God with two Faces, one looking forward and the other backward: now, I am not an expert by any means but my primary qualification is in classical culture. All I can say is Janus did not figure largely in the general household Lares and Penates.
The Babylonians, the Romans, and the Christians resolved to improve their spiritual beings in the new year, the Jews atoned for the sins of the past on Yom Kippur, a week or so after after Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, but Wikipedia indicates that the whole thing about new year resolutions started with the Methodists.
Always eager to follow the herd, I too made some New Year’s Resolutions on the 31st of December. Not too many, because that would be unrealistic, and certainly not the ten suggested by the Pope: yet after just over a week I have shilly-shallied or flat-out broken most of the resolutions.
All the Don’t Do This, Don’t Do That suggestions I made to myself have failed: I was doing quite well actually but after having a gun against my head and being tied up – not to mention losing my beloved Cartier Tank watch – I took refuge in Donuts.
So much for healthy eating. And with my cellphone gone, that was the end of my exercise programme – although honestly, with the heat and humidity, I had been falling short of the hour a day regime anyway.
Which leaves the cats’ litter boxes. And here I am pleased to report success: the boxes are emptied and aired daily, and the spilled crystals are swept up. So New Year benefitted the cats, if no-one else.
It proved to me though that it is easier to set oneself a task, within reason, that to deprive oneself. Okay, I fell short on the exercise thing, but making the bed, doing the washing up, cleaning the litter trays, tidying the sitting room, washing the kitchen surfaces – all so much easier to do than simply abstaining from that first bite of donut.
Is it a matter of will power? I think not.They say you can’t prove a negative: maybe you can’t feel good about a negative either, but performing a positive action – even something as drear as applying a stain-removal paste to a chocolate smear on the linen – gives one a sense of achievement.
I am undecided on this, as I am on so many things – except the resolve that I shall attempt no further New Year’s Resolutions. not until next year, at any rate.