A whole year ending in 13! Being the rational, balanced and sensible person I’m not, I, for one, am terrified of the potential horrors 2013 could bring. Horrors clearly caused by the unholy union between our preposterous sequential number system and the Gregorian calendar, which resoundingly fails to take into consideration the negative cultural connotations we arbitrarily attach to numbers.
All neuroticism aside, it’s a new year, a fresh start, a chance to turn over a new leaf, an opportunity to coin original clichés, and all the hopeful optimism that comes with the perceived opportunity to turn your life around.
The chief symptom of New Years Optimism Syndrome is the New Year’s resolution: On the face of it a harmless little promise to yourself about eating more roughage or banning yourself from Facebook friending your local Kebaberist, or vowing to get on nodding terms with Rick Parfitt (completed: 2010).
Being the thoughtful and helpful organ of the media you know TNT to be we’ve taken it upon ourselves to help you make the right new year’s resolutions this year, by banning some. This may seem draconian, but a) it’s for your own good and b) it’s not binding, (surprising though it may be, we don’t make the laws, so you know, you can like completely ignore us if you want).
The banned list:
1. Take up jogging
Why? To get fit? If you want to get fit there are literally tens of simpler ways than jogging, an activity which accelerates the degradation of joints, can lead to mental decline and makes you look like your 15-year-old self before you abandoned all:sports for Burtons. Sprinting on the spot as hard as you can four times a day for a minute will soon see you fitter than two half hour jogs per week, and you won’t have to buy any lycra. Or try a team sport, like football or rugby – you get to run around on nice soft grass, swear indiscriminately and physically hurt people and it’s fine.
2. Join the gym
It’s reflexively self-evident from this resolution that the person making it hasn’t been to a gym in some time. Had they have done, there’s no way they’d be making such a foolhardy, ignorant resolution. Gyms are fairly seldom the calm arenas of personal physical betterment that they purport themselves to be. More often they’re a pit of lonely, repressed men, selfing-off in mirrored infinity making the kind of guttural squeals that belong in a prison for criminally insane ghost goats.
3. Read more
Look, don’t get us wrong, reading is grand, but who in this day and age has got the time to sit down and read a book? You’ve got work, and then you’ve got to sprint on the spot four times a day, and you’ve got all that microwaving to do, all those DVD boxsets to pretend you’ve watched and that laundry to get service washed. Luckily for you, all these tasks can be achieved wearing headphones listening to audiobooks, and that’s basically reading right? Listening to someone else reading is vicarious reading, and what’s more they’re probably better at reading than you are – they probably do voices and everything, and know how to pronounce words like ‘nascent’ and ‘recondite’. And no, it’s not a story tape, it’s an audiobook.
4. Spend more time your family
Ah, the guiltiest of new years resolutions. This indicates that subconsciously you’ve given up trying to have the life your parents wanted you to have. “I didn’t try to have the life my parents wanted me to have,” you’re probably squealing at the screen, flopping your pink little fists down on your keyboard like the rules of development psychology don’t apply to you. But, newsflash you little parent-pleaser, they do. And you’re either trying to have the life your parents wanted you to have or you’re a complete fuck up. What happens once you’ve realised all your (/your parents) dreams haven’t come true, is that you resolve to spend more time with them, by way of penance. Or that could all be long-disproved Freudian bollocks, and you could just get on with them as human beings.
5. Be more organised
You know that person in your office whose job appears to be sending inconsequential emails to everyone else in your office with words in them like: workstream, teamthink, drilldown, hierarchy of bollocks, maybe not that last one – they’re really organised aren’t they? Their desk doesn’t look like the national archive of pre-packed sandwiches boxes and own-brand biscuit wrappers does it? Too bad for them! We’re going to be blunt, people like that, organised people, the innately orderly, have (probably) never contributed anything meaningful to the progress of humanity other than effective filing systems.
6. Learn something new everyday
Ralph Sockman once wrote, ‘the larger the island of knowledge the longer the shoreline of wonder.’ which is nice – it’s the type of thing you can imagine Photoshopped onto an image of the Northern Lights posted in your Tumblr feed. But it’s almost definitely crap. Learning something new everyday will not make you happy. The more you learn the more you become aware of how little you know, and the less you know you don’t know, the better off you are… Probably.