Writing resolutions

My 2020 new years resolution is to write more blog posts.

It won’t happen obviously because you have to start new years resolutions on the WORST day of the year; 1 January.

When 31 January rolls into 1 February, no one bats an eyelid, you’re lucky if anyone even notices. It’s the same with April into May or August into September. However, when Auld Lang Syne heralds the dawning of a new year, bad things happen. Twinkly lights and brightly coloured Christmas cards containing affectionate salutations* are removed, making your lounge look as bald as a Mitchell brother.

*and also that one apathetic card that just says “To Jo. From *insert name here*” without so much as an insincerely scrawled biro kiss as the end, I mean what’s the actual point?

1 January is a shocking day for writing, I’ve usually killed at least 85,000 brain cells in December, probably due to the three bottles of Baileys that I will undoubtedly have polished off. I’m left without the faintest idea how to structure a sentence, I can’t tell my personal pronouns from my possessive pronouns and I’m worryingly uncertain about whether “stationary” refers to ‘standing still’ or ‘many notebooks’.

On 1 January, it is very rare for me not to have a motherfucker of a headache after rather too much Champagne Prosecco/Cava (I’m not made of money, especially after purchasing all those bottles of Baileys). Whilst it is mandatory to consume bubbles to hail the arrival of January, that fizzy wine does have a tendency to come with objectionable side effects; mainly the feeling that someone has stabbed you in the head with one of your empty bastarding wine bottles.

A dehydration headache is no joke when you’re trying to write. I do everything on a phone or laptop and the glow of the digital device prompts a squeal of “bright light, bright light” in the style of Gizmo from Gremlins every time a tiny glint catches my eye.

I would try writing in a notebook with an actual pen but the problem with that is that I haven’t written anything of substance since my final GCSE exam back in 1994 2004. Since then I’ve managed birthday cards, the occasional postcard and at least half a dozen “I am home, please knock loudly and don’t take my parcel away” notes for delivery drivers, but that’s about the limit of my penmanship. Even signing my name is a rarity these days, not least because I sometimes forget which signature to use. To clarify, I’m not a fraudster, I just use my maiden name for work so I have two signatures for my two names (As an aside, I do recognise that this is exactly what a fraudster would say).

When the hangover has slung it’s hook, you have to contend with all things depressingly Januaryish:

The shops are filled with soup and yoghurt and cardboardy ryvita and all-of-a-sudden skinny celebs are all over social media trying to flog exercise programmes quickly before their own inevitable weight gain ensues. Brad and I attempted dry January this month, which has been a really fucking stupid idea as it has massively added to the ghastliness of the month.

January sales start, which just gives shops an opportunity to whip out a load of old gash that didn’t sell back in the summer sales. DFS staff have a 45 minute reprieve between the end of the Christmas clearance and the launch of the new year discount extravaganza. Luckily as there are at least 14 Saturdays between December payday and January payday, chances are that you’ve fallen so far down the overdraft well that you can’t afford to climb out and buy anything, no matter how much of a bargain.

The final nail in the coffin of my writing resolution is my job; I’ve worked in HR for over 20 years which means that January is filled with the aftermath of ‘Christmas party antics’ and I’m too busy scrutinising allegations of drunken inappropriate conduct by grown ups who are old enough to know better to have time for much else.

And that, dear reader, is why I’m finally posting this blog post on 26 January: Happy ne…arly February!

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