A sad tale of new year’s resolutions

January 26, 2020

I wonder why a turn of year fills me with such a ridiculous amount of hope; so much so that I fail to remember that I am probably devoid of the skill to form new habits and let go of the old

Human beings are funny creatures. No amount of failure is enough for them to release their stubborn hold upon hope, no complication bad enough. Despite this, even the smallest of things like, let’s say, a bad internet connection will be enough to seemingly break them down completely. It’s extraordinary really, the way we still proudly march forward, often wearing our fragilities on our sleeves.

New year’s resolutions – those pesky little things – have always had a complicated relationship with me from the day I became aware of their existence. I wonder why a turn of year fills me with such a ridiculous amount of hope; so much so that I fail to remember that, being a mere mortal, I am probably devoid of the skill to form new habits and let go of the old. It is undeniably nonsensical, yet, in a purely human fashion, I tend to look forward to the new year; enraptured with elusive promises of altering myself and turning into someone that I clearly cannot become.

For the first few days of every new year, I wholeheartedly strive to change my ways; if the stars align in my favour, these efforts stretch to several weeks. But sooner or later, old situations return, and with them, old habits.

I have often wondered how on earth one changes one’s lifestyle. I mean, it’s not like I have been here for all these decades and haven’t once tried my hand at it. There ought to be some sort of a consolation prize for trying at least, no?

As it goes, this year my usual run-of-the-mill resolutions were more books, more journaling, losing weight, working out, retiring to bed early, and more of such seemingly impossible feats that us humans seem to obsess over. There were several others that have escaped my memory, but rest assured, none of them took off beyond the paper on which they were written. I believe I lost the paper somewhere as well.

For now, I think I’ll just stick to those few resolutions that were fortunate enough to manifest past the written word. Some twenty days later, I have actually succeeded in getting a wee more reading done; mostly because I recently reawakened my dormant Goodreads account and told a couple of friends that I’d be updating it more frequently. But after a lapse of around twenty-five days or so, I can now safely conclude that I have just lost the vigour to read. Maybe I’ll try again next year.

One of the biggest entrees on my list of new year’s resolutions has always been weight loss. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m all for eating to one’s heart’s content, but these past few years have made me realise that I might have to watch my eating habits if I’m truly serious about sticking around for another couple of years. So this year, I resolved to use only coconut oil for cooking purposes and swore to not see another chapati in my life again. This fresh lifestyle was quite successful indeed – until January 5, when I had to attend a shaadi. Of course, as expected, yours truly went berserk and devoured all that she could, resembling a newly awakened eldritch creature. On the night of January 5, I decided that the new lifestyle I had adopted at the beginning of the year was not suitable for me and that I’d have to devise a new plan. It has been twenty days since then, and I am still searching for one.

The curious case of my New Year’s resolutions remains invariably sad; despite the rapidly changing years, the resolutions on my Notes app firmly resist change. Maybe it’s time I got the hint. In The Picture of Dorian Gray, Lord Henry, at one point, emphatically declares, “Good resolutions are useless attempts to interfere with scientific laws. Their origin is pure vanity. Their result is absolutely nil.” Resolutions, as Oscar Wilde perhaps knew quite well, are nothing but problematic. But what about the many things I had vowed to accomplish this year? Well, maybe I’ll try again on New Year’s Day.

A sad tale of new year’s resolutions