It’s New Year’s Eve and I’m feeling the pressure.
A pressure that can only be experienced at the turn of each year. One that has matured over time, this pressure is no longer about securing a drunken pub-lic snog or even whether or not I manage to stay awake until the clock strikes twelve. It’s about a whole lot more than this transient and seriously overrated moment. It’s about the year ahead of me and what the hell I’m going to do with it. But as Big Ben bashes it out and fancy fireworks flood the sky, I wilfully fling myself so far into the Land of Nod, that I just don’t give a toss. Well, for now anyway.
Roll on New Year’s Day. And I’m still feeling the pressure.
A pressure that is pounding inside me, plucking at every nerve-end, pushing out at every pulse. My fingers are itching. My veins twitching. I need to make some resolutions, directives, plans – call them what you will. Apparently I must reflect on what I’m doing wrong and write the coming year to rights. Throw in a few well-intentioned aims and aspirations and we should have a unique blueprint for personal development, self-improvement and spiritual growth. Bloody hell, am I actually about to take responsibility for my future? This could take some time.
For those of you who don’t know me well, this isn’t about cutting out a clandestine chocoholic binge diet or giving up a filthy fag ash habit. Gambling, drugs and booze – I’d rather not thanks. I work (a bit). I play (in moderation). I cook, I clean, I chauffeur (only if absolutely essential). Life is far from perfect though. Like you, I would no doubt benefit from those generic year on year pledges to eat healthier, exercise more (or in my case, at all) and spend less. But I get by. Doing what I do. (And not doing much of that.) So what’s with this overwhelming urgency, this resolve as never before, to map out my life and act with commitment, purpose and intent?
Apparently it’s normal at this time of year. Right now, everyone is scripting out their lives with bold, statement one-liners. So hell yes, it must be worthwhile? But let’s be honest, this irrepressible need to concoct myself a future is more than likely attributable to the crazed, control freak inside me. That little voice that compels me to re-stack the dishwasher when it’s already been stacked, to re-hang the washing when it’s already been hung, to re-lay the table when it’s already been laid. Just. In. Case.
But what the hell! It’s January 3rd and the pressure is beginning to subside.
A pressure which only yesterday was gnawing away at me, but whose root is now becoming more and more intelligible with each passing day. What’s the rush? An extra day or two mind-mapping my future won’t harm. After all, creating one’s destiny can’t happen overnight. Forget the specifics of the wanna-be’s and the nice-to-haves. Yes, I vow to make at least one batch of home-made soup per week and yes, I will endeavour to show even the slightest bit of interest in the colour-coded world of recycling bins. But more pertinently, I think it’s time to remember who the hell I am, to better who I am and to start believing in who I am. It’s time to grab hold of the reins and steer myself in a direction.
Preferably the right one.
Are you with me?