December 29th, Christmas past and New Years Day ahead and it’s now that I start to do the stuff that I have avoided doing these past 360 and odd days.
Forget thinking about New Years Resolutions, there is still the old year to tidy up. So while I sit here and wait for the washing machine to finish a load I ponder on what might have been…
I have only ever successfully kept to a New Years Resolution once, when I gave up sugar in hot drinks. Every other time I have made a resolution I have failed, usually by week 2. I think that psychologists do say that New Years Resolutions if not set up properly are bound to fail. And this year has been no exception. I – well it would be pushing it to say ‘resolved’ – had a plan to sort out my finances, not so much the amount of money I have but the number of accounts that I hold, and one thing led to another with the result that my accounts are still as numerous as they were last year.
The thing is that New Years Resolutions have got to be achievable, but also you have got to be prepared to ‘train’ yourself to get on with whatever change you want to make. I tend to struggle to get into any sort of regular habit (apart, strangely, from buying some beer on payday) so changing a habit I don’t really have is always going to be challenging.
2014 was a strange year for me. I had not signed on to any evening classes in 2013, so by February of 2014 I was a little bored. I went to virtually every play produced by my local theatre in order to try and ease the boredom, and in the summer I attended two BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall. Those concerts were the first ‘proper’ concerts I had ever attended and were memorable for different reasons. The first one was Der Rosenkavalier, sung in German with no surtitles. I bought a libretto and tried following the opera, but in the end I decided to just sit and listen. I did translate one of the lines – ‘Here I sit?, I sit here’ – but mostly I just let the words wash over me. The second concert was conducted by Daniel Barenboim and I managed to snaffle a seat 6 feet or so from the stage.
Having learnt my lesson from last year I spent the summer looking forward to joining a college course in the Autumn. That plan failed when I was summoned to sit on a Jury, and in the end I spent the best part of a month sitting in a courthouse.
I went back to London a few weeks ago and attended a concert at the Wigmore Hall. It’s a gorgeous venue that sits 500 or so and has much better acoustics than the Royal Albert Hall. (I sound,like an expert but I’m not. It’s just that sitting at the front of the RAH means that you get the benefit of hearing its echo.)
And so, there are some of the highs and lows of my year. I didn’t get to do what I planned, but did do some completely different things. Not a ‘waste’ of a year; simply a year that was unique. A good New Years Resolution might simply to be to have a ‘unique’ 2015. But deciding that will have to wait for another day. I still have a very messy 2014 to clear up…