The politics of January
I never make New Year’s Resolutions for the intended date of January One-st because guaranteed each year at the stroke of midnight on that exact date I will be engaging in all manner of activities that fly in the face of proactive, productive living. This New Year’s Eve I spent making a ten minute film about a soft toy, a cow called Moo, who was for an unknown and illogical reason a male, and his adventures in my backyard – literally, not metaphorically. I had consumed a fair degree of champagne.
At the stroke of midnight I was screaming with other revellers lots of drunk celebratory salutations at my old Sydney haunt, the Crows Nest Hotel, before I made another ten minute film, this one detailing my attempt to eat two meat pies while wearing an ill-fitting Where’s Wally hat. Waldo for international readers. I’d been less than accurate placing the hat strap over my face and it clung across my face half pinning down my right eye making me look even more drunk than I was. If that was possible. Which apparently it was.
The first four days of January this year were, like every other year, a long blurry series of days involving bed rest and rehydration salts. Resolutions don’t kick off for me until January 5 when I like many make promises about a healthy lifestyle. I purchased a motivational book helpfully titled ‘ Run Fat Bitch Run’, and have since embarked on an eight-week program that takes me on a regular 7 km circuit which I must complete with increasing speed, agility and enthusiasm. Like last year I am already imagining my svelte physique come May. Tanned, toned, glowing, terrific. I am imagining myself smug as I casually throw into a conversation my love of running. A vision of perfection, I swan through the calendar year with athletic grace.
Secretly (though secretly not all that secretly now – – ooh intertextual furtiveness!) this is not going to happen. OK, it might happen, but if the success of this year’s resolution was measured by political pollsters using data from previous campaigns it would look like this:
“So why bother trying at all?” I hear you say. And I’m glad you asked.
Because…. with each attempt at total self-improvement comes a small improvement I follow through with as compensation. I didn’t lose weight in 2011 but I did stick to my weight training regime which saw a body fat reduction of almost ten per cent. I’m not lithe but I am fucking strong. I didn’t go all of 2012 without a cigarette but I did stop smoking every day and resorted to my filthy indulgence only on riotous weekends.
My “Get Healthy” political party might not have broken the two-party preferred system of government but it has built a small following and won key seats in the senate. The crux is this: It’s worth making grand gestures of good intentions because we still achieve more than if we have no intentions at all.
Can we declare ourselves successful people even when we have stains of kebab on our shirts and vomit on our sheets? I say: if there are fewer stains than in the January before then yes, Yes We Can.