Saturday, 31 December 2011

New Year's Resolutions

Having survived Christmas, and those weird days where you may or may not have had to go to work, and eaten and drank your own bodyweight, we come to one last binge – New Year's Eve. I shall be spending tonight at a Seventies themed party, where I shall be dressed as a punk (to be honest, I've just dug out the remnants of my ill-fated goth year at fourteen) and presumably drinking copious amounts of Advocaat.

However, Puritannical January is just around the corner. The adverts for Weight Watchers are piling up, gyms are quietly pushing up their prices for a month, and Nicorette gets ready for a massive boost in sales. I am not particularly against New Years Resolutions; it was a New Years Resolution (timed with a doctors visit, admittedly) that led to my mum losing about two stone of weight and changing her lifestyle, something she's kept up to this day. They can be a much needed kick up the arse, and if you're making one, good for you.

The key, I think, is being realistic. Mum lost so much weight because she was eating the equivalent of a baby horse every day and rarely went outside, let alone exercised. As soon as she swapped crisps for fruit and went to Aqua-arobics twice a week the weight pretty much ran away. My personal resolution of last year – Drink Less Booze You Hussy – was easy enough to achieve because it involved me putting down the damned wine, a choice I could make myself.

However, for the last two years I have also had another, quieter resolution, one that I suspect many graduates also share. It is “Get A New Job”. There are subtle variations, of course; it might be “Get A Better Job” or “Get A Promotion” or “Get Any Kind Of Job”. On the outside, it's a good resolution. You've given yourself an entire year to do it, after all, and an entire year is a long, long time to get a new job.

The problem is that there may not, in fact, be a job out there for you. I'm not saying that there never will be, but the job that is right for you may not appear in the space of twelve months. I could get Any New Job in the space of a year, I'm reasonable confident in my own abilities. However, I have a partner to consider, so geography must be taken into account. I'm also fairly firm that I don't want to move into a job I loathe, as mine frankly isn't bad enough (yet) to be worth the stress of starting a new job and then just hate it. Plus I've decided to stay on at least until I get married (less than three months now!) to minimise my general stress.

But quietly, quietly, I feel that I've let myself down every year with my lack of new employment. So this year, sod it. This year, my resolutions are going to be achievable ones that are entirely within my remit. I will continue to write. I will submit at least two pieces for paid employment – not get them you understand, but to at least submit. I will apply for new jobs, but I will not feel awful if I don't get them. Well, I will, but I'll try not to make it feel so much like a personal failing.

Have a very happy 2012, fellow graduates. If you'll excuse me, I need to go and paint my nails black.

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