So, its that time of year again.
The arbitrary point in so many people’s lives when they decide to give up something they previously enjoyed without guilt or shame.
But the beginning of a new circuit by our little rock around a distant ball of superheated gas – and the best efforts of the advertising industry – heralds the arrival of a month or so of broken promises and enough good intentions to pave the way to hell and back several times over.
The number of TV commercials, billboards, newspaper ads, and spam e-mails that we get bombarded with at this time of year almost qualify as an industry on their own.
Whether it’s adverts featuring shock tactics to encourage people to stop smoking, choreographed musical numbers starring actual members of Weight Watchers, demonstrations of unfeasibly complicated exercise gadgets, or just plain, good old comedic abuse, we’re surrounded by a gigantic corporate guilt trip for the first few weeks of every year.
Followed, of course, by another month, one where the small ads pages of local papers all over the country will be stuffed full of bargains for the genuine fitness fanatic – unwanted rowing machines, cross-trainers, treadmills, exercise bikes, and those giant inflatable balls that cause so much unintended hilarity – all originally bought with the genuine intention of initiating a new regime of health and wellbeing.
How much of this hand-me-down gym equipment turns up in the classified ads due to conversations along the lines of;
“What do you mean you got me an exercise bike for Christmas? Are you trying to tell me I’m fat?!” is difficult to say, but I’m betting there will be a few well-meant presents relegated to various garages already.
Now, I’m not saying that everyone will fail in their resolve to better themselves, and if you succeed, then I take my hat off to you.
But we don’t all have your willpower.
There are however, always the more vague, less easily defined resolutions, for those of us who want to be seen to be committed to a new start, without actually having to change our life at all.
Read more Kafka, that’s a good one.
Franz Kafka – “Who, me?”
I mean, who’s going to risk a long, involved discussion on the pros and cons of Orson Welles’ adaptation of The Trial, just to check if you’re keeping up your end of the self-imposed deal.
Give more to charity is another winner.
The “I do a lot for charity, but I don’t really like to talk about it” line takes care of too much detailed interrogation on the subject, plus most of us will chuck some spare change into a tin when it’s rattled at us (although rattling of charity tins is now discouraged, following claims that it is intimidating) so it’s quite easy to stay faithful to.
Indeed, there is certainly no shortage of organisations collecting money on our high streets at the moment, even prompting complaints that they may be driving away shoppers.
If I was going to recommend anything to try more of this year, I would reiterate the advice I gave previously, to watch more Scandinavian TV. Which you can resolve to do right away, as the second series of Danish political drama Borgen starts it’s UK run this weekend.
Baack by populaar demaand.
Finally (and predictably) how about making it your resolution to follow Diary of an Internet Nobody if you’ve not done so yet?
It really is terribly easy, just click on the follow button, and you’ll get an e-mail whenever a new post goes up.
If you follow already, thank you, but how about resolving to leave a comment now and then. I love getting feedback, and being able to interact with you always gives me a sense of connection.
And it goes without saying that if you all made it your resolution to share the blog with just one other person, and got them to follow too, well, I’d obviously be delighted.
Having said all that, I hope that your year is going as well as can be expected after all that relaxing was cruelly interrupted by the harsh reality of returning to work once more.
It already seems as if it was all some big comfy dream, but never fear, I’m sure the coming months will bring many new things to enjoy.
I, for one, resolve to keep on telling you stuff in order to entertain and/or amuse you, and I hope that you’ll stay on board for my first full year of ramblings.
See, that was easy, one resolution made already…