It's the dawn of a new year. The Olympic year. It'll be the twenty-second one I've lived in, and I still haven't fully accepted that I lack that internal drive and focus which would enable me to follow through on resolutions. Every year it is the same thing; I wake up with a slight glimmer of hope. 'Maybe this will be the year things change' I think to myself, with a limp trace of uncertainty even in my internal monologues. Maybe, with a bit of gusto, I can start afresh and ditch the bad habits. Maybe, resolution will become revolution!
It is with this self-awareness that I am putting forward my resolutions for 2012 forward now, despite the fact that I have broken one of them before I have even declared it.
1) Healthy food
Boring and predictable I know. Everyone in the country groans as they squeeze themselves into the trousers post-festive season.
Anyway, I want to snap out of comfort eating. Comfort eating as a phrase has quite good connotations - comfort is reclined on a chair, kicking of your shoes and taking relaxing deep breaths as you nibble on a Galaxy.
Of course, my reality is different. In the adverts, they don't have somebody like me squatting on a VDU desk chair in front of the computer in my dressing gown, stuffing Minstrels into my gaunt face. No, comfort eating isn't comfort. It isn't comfortable and it isn't comforting. The turnover time between binge-eating and self-loathing is now so short that barely has the last morsel pot-holed down my gullet when I am crippled by bitter remorse.
First resolution, stop binge/comfort eating. To be so enamoured of chocolate is infantile. I'm not Montezuma, I'm just a weakwilled man.
2) Dress better
Complacency set in towards the end of last term in school. Somebody said to me that I ought to 'dress for the job I want, not the job you have'. If I was following that logic, the job I wanted last half-term was some strange sort of seaside entertainer. Mismatched socks were worn more often than not. Kooky ties, like a bad uncle or an odd science teacher. I want to look good and individual, sure, but maybe at times my geek chic veered too far into in-patient territory. I will dress better. I will wear shirts more often. I will wear black shoes, rather than the white, blue and purple ones I have been wearing.
This is not abandoning my sense of self. I can let my mouth do the talking, rather than using my clothing as a canvas on which I paint my mental state.
The good thing about being a teacher is that, no matter how life-absorbing it is, it still inspires new thoughts in you. It fertilises the imagination having to answer the off-the-wall questions which emanate from the faces in the carpet. I love writing. I have always written. My friend bought me a notebook in 2002 into which I was expected to write poems. I have, for the last decade. That notebook is a chronicle of my increasing literacy, eloquence and pretension and of my decreasing optimism and modesty.
Writing is great and this year, I intend to plunge back into it. I have survived the first term: now, I want to up the ante. I want to heap pressure onto myself and force myself to actually produce something. I have written loads of stuff, but it is all just patches. 2012, I want you to be the year to provide me with the thread, so that I can sew all of those shitty patches into a big dirty tapestry of substance.