I’ve been out running this afternoon. Winding my way along the Manukau harbour, observing people starting their new years eve celebrations. Over the next 24hrs people all over the world join in one of the few celebrations that are not tied to any particular religion or historical event. The right to celebrate isn’t limited or restricted to any particular group and there are no set traditions, although many would say that drinking, dancing, and other shenanigans most certainly seem pretty well established.
I find the ritual of setting new year resolutions curious. I’m not ‘for’ or ‘against’ that would be too easy. Instead I wonder about why we feel the compulsion to do it at all. I don’t know if it has to do with the altered states of consciousness people are in but declarations and commitments fill the ether. It is like a contractual agreement made stronger sometimes by collective witnessing even joining with others in similar states of intoxication to monitor and cheer each other on. These contracts are made spontaneously usually or perhaps there had been some prior thought but there is nothing like a NY resolution – they just seem more binding.
But the irony is no-one would EVER consider a contract signed under these conditions as valid in the real world. Yet we hold ourselves and sometimes others to account – that is if we can remember what was said. So here is some ‘fine print’ I would be mindful of if I was tempted (which I not – and tea and gingernuts are not likely to open the wrath of my subconscious) to make a NYR.
• All declarations of love are subject to confirmation upon sobriety
• Promises made under influence of substances are not binding
• If found praying while emptying stomach contents – all utterances are null and void
• Actions cannot be considered in character unless the behaviour is consistent outside of the 24hrs
• Kissing is not considered binding
• Recollection of events might be subject to impairment – in light of new information the holder of this contract has the right to edit, censor or remain silent
• It is advisable to wait at least a week – in which time negotiation with your past, present and future self is warranted
• Awkward and embarrassing feelings may be rescinded
Whether you do or don’t make a resolution remember you can change your mind at any time. Don’t wait a whole year.