New Year Special – Same Ol’ Situation (S.O.S)

Happy New Year folks, let’s hope 2014 won’t follow in the footsteps of 2013 and be this endless montage of news stories that make you so disgusted with humanity, you welcome the idea of an apocalypse to just end it all. Ohh, Justin slept with this, Miley did that and this actor said this thing and it goes on and on and on but none of it even matters because it’s all essentially tame and dull and we know it’ll happen. I fully expect Bieber to bang prostitutes and spit on children because he’s a miserable excuse for a human being, much in the same way I expect Miley to shake her ass all over the world because she’s so “risky and carefree”. I mean, kudos to them if that’s what they want in life but it’s not that bold and daring, it’s predictable celebrity breakdown insanity. True utter madness would be finding Justin has covered his bedroom walls with passages from the Bible written in blood whilst he sits on the floor in a tin-foil nappy holding a dead rabbit.

Erhem, anyway that’s not what this is about today. Remember way way back when I talked about the way men treat women and the way women treat men and it was this rant about how we’re all guilty of sexism and need to grow the fuck up? Yeah, well today I’m going to take that stance of New Years Attitudes – the unbelievable optimists who think fairies come every January 1st to make the world a better place overnight, and the insufferable pessimists who turn in at nine and say the new year is nothing more than a marketing scam to get you to buy calenders. That’s right, I’m not one of those kind of cynics, I’m just marginally above them on the excitement scale and let me go about my business by taking both sides of this argument by the balls, squeezing said balls til they burst like grapes and then smugly giving out my own little opinion whilst my opponents snarl at me viciously.

Well I’ll start with the optimists, they usually get the worst end of the deal from me so let’s get it over with for them. The New Year optimist is your drunken party animal who obsessively declares their love for their friends at the stroke of midnight, before making a bunch of promises they can’t keep, talking about how everything will change and then will proceed to make a fool of themselves in a friend’s bathroom. The optimists aren’t bad people and though they can be a little too over the top, they like the chance to get into the spirit of things (or rather, get the spirits into them. Namely whiskey and vodka) Optimists, your passion is commendable but a little misplaced for the following reasons:

– You know what happens when a new year begins? The numbers on your watch change slightly. That’s it. Nothing else happens, you are still the same drunken goon from yesteryear and you’ve succeeded in starting this “bold new beginning” covered in tinsel, vomit and alcohol. Way to go bud, rinse and repeat this sad ritual until you die.

– New Year is a time for change, sure, but none of this “New year, new me!” bollocks. Truth be told, you change all the fucking time, gradually over the course of months. You learn stuff, you make friends, you lose friends, you gain money, you lose money – You are an ever-shifting pool of uneasy water that is your mind. The New Year isn’t going to awaken a dormant spirit of success inside you and by the time you’re this “new you”, you won’t even notice. Think about it, take yourself back a year and think of every detail about you that has changed since then. Remember the exact moment each change happened? No, you don’t – you change, you move on, you’re you. New year, same old you until about Mid-February.

– Resolutions are great, I support anyone in making positive changes about themselves but be sure to stick to them ok? I never bother because I know I won’t, my resolution is simply “Don’t let shit get worse than it already is” and that usually falls apart like a New Year’s diet and both of these sad circumstances involve the comfort of cake a fortnight from now. If you make a resolution, make it one that is realistic. Remember SMART Goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-Bound). Your resolution must be clear and concise, you must be able to know when you have made this change and it must be a change that you can make, that you need to make and that you will make before a certain deadline. “Lose weight” isn’t good enough, try “I will lose a stone before the end of this month” – You can do that if you try, don’t just make vague promises you know you can’t keep.

– IF YOU SEND ME A CHAIN-TEXT I WILL CUT YOU IN YOUR SLEEP. Sorry, but I hate “run of the mill” celebration greetings, make a real effort or don’t bother. If you really care about the next year of my life, tell me properly, don’t send this happy-go-lucky standard paragraph to everyone and put eight crosses on the end. I would suggest you trim your list down to close friends and family and send them a sentence or two specific to them, anyone else, respond with the same level of thought that they did.

Ok, so I think that’s the really optimistic people dealt with and if they’re reading this, I hope you’re recovering from that hangover right about now hey? Partied pretty hard didn’t you? Mhmm, well I’m of the crowd who doesn’t greet the new year with a stream of carrot chunks and my arse out on show. I like a simple celebration with people I care about, enjoying a gathering around the clock with a little treat to welcome in the possibility of positive change. Nothing fancy for me, I’m not that sort of bloke. However, there are those who even I feel the need to tell to pick up their spirits (perhaps even the whiskey) as they grumble and stomp off to bed at nine with their phone switched off, a scowl on their face and this “New year, old shit” status that’s ever so witty. Pessimists, I once stood beside you against politics and films alike, now I must turn against you as I explain why I feel being the mood-kill on NYE is just shitting in everyone’s soup, even the pessimists:

– “New year, old shit” – Well that’s a self-fulfilling prophecy if ever I heard one. If you do not think there is a chance for change, there is none. Sure, I complain a lot about my life and this might be a kettle calling the pot black but essentially I face each hurdle with the “Maybe this time” attitude, even if I don’t say it aloud. I know you’re in a rough patch but as clichĂ© as it sounds, this year could be your year. We make our own luck in this world, that’s a proven fact – luck is a state of mind in that, if we believe we are lucky, we become more aware of our environment and the opportunities within it. I’m facing a hard time right now, a lot of demons to fight and though mine might not be like yours, we can confront them together if we just make the decision to do so.

– You’re grumpy, in bed early just to miss that countdown when you get that dreaded “Happy New Year” text and your response? Bitter sarcasm. Ok, those two words describe 90% of what I say but the difference is my timing. I don’t throw this in any specific person’s face, I let it out in a constructed and carefully timed article so that I miss the window that it might cause offence. I didn’t whine about Christmas on Christmas because I don’t want to spoil the day for my readers, much like this wasn’t up in time for you to read it before the countdown. If a friend texts you a New Year’s greeting and you feel the urge to respond “What’s so happy about it you chummy cunt? I’m still the adopted son of a man who was arrested for killing a bus-load of school children, I’m still broke! New Year, Old Shit!” – turn your phone off fast and just find something to kick around… no, not the cat, not the cat! WHISKERS! Ah crap… I… I’m sorry…

Well, I’ve now effectively annoyed everyone, again. Oh ho, impish little me! I guess once again, we all know that nothing changes in the space of that countdown from one year to the next but these loud festivities and fireworks are the signal that it is time to make the changes we want to make and it gives us a measurable starting-point. Keeping a journal, learning to play the violin, losing weight, getting laid – you have today to mark as the day you start trying to achieve the goal and you can see how far you get by February, March and so on with very little effort in counting the months. Third month? Three months trying. 14th April? Almost five months! Call the new year a checkpoint to start on the road to a better you and the changes won’t come immediately, but they’ll come to you eventually. Be you a party animal or grump in slippers, try to see the fireworks as a brightly coloured reminder that you’ve got further to go on the road of life just yet and now is as good a time as any to draw up a plan for where you’re going from here on

PS – Why do we celebrate New Year’s in January? Like, nothing is new – it’s cold, it’s wet, it’s miserable. I think the Chinese are right, start the party when something new appears like the first signs of new flowers… January is like the shit bit of Winter, it’s not Christmas and it’s not almost spring, it’s just white bread man.

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