Death of the New Year’s resolution

I bet you all think I’ve gone and disappeared again! But I’m still here, and I really mean to not disappear again!

For at least a month!

That’s one of my New Year’s resolutions. And I’m rather impressed with myself for having one of those, seeing as I’ve been Cynical Cynthia (not having believed in resolutions) for the last, I don’t know, hundred years.

And why not?

Because I think New Year’s resolutions are an escape hatch.

Say you get tired of doing something, like yoga and eating rabbit food. So you tell yourself, oh never mind, the NEW YEAR is coming up; I will resolve to get back into yoga and rabbit food then, promise! (Never mind it’s only April.)

I didn’t want to be part of all that procrastination and denial. (Like I don’t already have enough of that in my life, haha.) Really, I thought, it’s do or do not. There is no faffing about waiting for the right time.

 

Do or do not?
Your subconscious knows best.

 

But some time last month, while not doing yoga, I had an epiphany. (Which goes to show you don’t need to be a yogi nor feed on cotton balls to have epiphanies.)

My epiphany was that not believing in NYRs was doing duck all for my goals.

People have a tendency to set their goals aside and, I don’t know, play a video game, instead.

It’s so easy to get sidetracked, lose focus, fall by the wayside, eat a whole pint of chocolate ice cream in one sitting.

 

Eating chocolate ice cream
Hey, let’s get some cookie dough ice cream next.

 

(If you’re one of those wack jobs who have earned a PhD, scaled Mount Everest twice, mastered five languages, invented a working time machine and published a hundred books by the time you’re 20 years old, go away. Just go away.)

I see now that NYRs, at least, remind us to refocus and get those bucket lists ticked off. It doesn’t matter if you keep getting sidetracked and have to keep renewing the same resolution every year. At least there’s a chance of succeeding one day.

(ADHD type people like me probably need a whole new strategy altogether, but I’m going to leave that problem for another time.)

By boycotting NYRs, I was basically allowing myself to be sidetracked for longer periods of time. I would enjoy the constant companionship of ennui while thinking, “I don’t need a new year to start doing that thing, I can just do it whenever, duh!”

But “whenever” comes rather infrequently, you’ll find.

 

Whenever - AKA why you never get anything done.
Whenever never comes.

 

Now, instead of thinking of NYRs as some dork invention, I’ve decided to think of them as a kind of parental discipline.

When you get to a certain age, you realise that parents are always right (the non-psycho ones, anyway). When they say DO YOUR HOMEWORK NOW, it is backed by all the wisdom of 14 billion years worth of universe. Meaning, disobey me and you will become a tramp, see if I care. (Actually, I do care, so go do your homework.)

Come 2016, I was determined to obey my figurative parents. My first resolution on the list was to be an early riser.

I’ve struggled my entire life to wake up early but have never quite succeeded. I have tried, honestly, about 3,482 times, despite being genetically predisposed to be an owl.

About 4 am to 12 pm would be my ideal sleeping time. But I want to be more in sync with the rest of the world (that is, pertaining to my familial and social circles).

 

Sync in progress. Do not disconnect.
Another way of saying behave like a normal human being, you crazy person.

 

So, on the first Monday of 2016, I made myself wake up at 7 am. I spent the whole day in a zombiefied state doing useful tasks I’d put off for years, such as opening mail that’s been sitting around since 2013 and filing them away neatly. It was a very successful day.

But my triumph wasn’t to last long. At 9 pm, my throat suddenly became quite sore.

At 10 pm, I started sneezing uncontrollably.

The next morning, I woke up with a bad cold and promptly went back to sleep. And that was the end of that resolution, may it rest in peace.

Well, there’s always next year.

 

 

Why I disappeared again

I’m back! Again! So, okay, that took a bit longer than planned, but it’s all normal. I just got side-tracked a little, as I’m wont to do. (I hate the phrase “wont to do” so I don’t know why I’m using it.)

Now, to pick up where I left off.

When Silly Wen left England in May, I was supposed to resume blogging (again). I didn’t, obviously, and I can’t use the alien abduction excuse twice so, this time, I’m going to place the entire blame on Game of Thrones Ascent, this stupid game I started playing early last year.

Well, okay, a bit of the blame goes to my weak will, that lousy piece of unpalatable word, but only a little bit.

 

(Comic) Running out of excuses

 

I shan’t go into boring detail so let’s just say that the game got updated with lots of new stuff around the end of April, demanding even more participation to fully reap all the benefits. It got so that playing it was a full-time job if you wanted to remain competitive.

Stupidly, I got sucked in.

I have played games full-time before. They were mostly MMORPGs such as EverQuest 2 and Star Wars Galaxies, from a long time ago, an era before evil IAPs. I never regretted those; they were fun and fulfilling, and even got me in the news.

 

Sheylara posing with a cheesy lightsaber toy.
An old archive photo (c. 2003) from my interview in The Straits Times
I’d probably regret digging out.

 

But I regret every minute spent playing Game of Thrones Ascent. It’s not even a proper game and the game mechanics and UI are so 20th century fail that I actually feel embarrassed admitting to playing it.

I also feel ashamed for having played it so long. But no more. I quit.

QUIT!

Suddenly, I feel free. Unencumbered. The world is my oyster again. Although, after quitting, I spent probably two weeks wallowing in that empty, lost feeling you get when you go cold turkey or end a destructive relationship.

But I’m now ready to rush headlong into my next addiction! Except I’m thinking I should take a break and be normal for a bit. You know, like, do normal people things, eat proper meals, get some exercise, water the dying herbs.

Also, blog.

So, there you go. Welcome me back! Or not, but I DO care, because I feel stupid blogging to air so the plan is for that to not happen. I like to keep a dialogue going (even if it’s mostly imagined) and I know you miss my ramblings.

Right?

 

And the result of the coin toss is

Previously: Deciding a wedding on a coin toss

____________________________________________________________

 

I know you’ve all been eagerly awaiting news of the infamous coin toss, probably the most absurd coin toss in the history of coin tosses.

I would have kept everyone in suspense a bit longer (only because I’m lazy to blog about it right away), but stupid Piers scooped me by posting the result on Dayre IMMEDIATELY after the coin toss, which was just before we went to bed, so I had to wake up extra early this morning to write this piece before the news becomes too stale.

I always knew having a blogger partner was bad news!

 

Suspense

 

Alright, alright, I will for once skip being long-winded and come straight to the point.

The result is: No wedding for us.

We tossed the coin 11 times. I originally suggested doing “Best of 10” because one toss felt too flippant and flukish. And, sure enough, 10 tosses ended up in a tie, so we had to do a tie-breaker toss. And the tie-breaker said no.

That was it.

 

NO!

 

So, both Piers and I went to bed rather sad.

I know. You are now going to say, “If you’re sad, that means you want the wedding, so JUST DO IT FOR CRYING OUT LOUD.”

But if the last coin had landed the other way, we would have gone to bed stressed and afraid. Either way, it was going to be bad news.

I know that sounds very ridiculous. This whole thing is ridiculous. But life is unfair and ridiculous.

So, I guess the decision has been made for us. What do you think?

Deciding a wedding on a coin toss

First, allow me to admit that I’m an awful decision-maker. I’m quite possibly the worst decision-maker in the whole world, and that is no casual boast.

For example, I will totally forgo having a meal if I can’t decide what to eat, because copping out is just easier. I could write a whole post about this affliction of mine but I can’t decide whether I should.

Well, let’s just say that a long history of bad decisions on my part has led to crippling fear and inability in the area.

 

Indecision

 

So, this wedding thing has plagued me for two months now. Piers and I were married quietly in Singapore on 7 October 2013. We planned to have a wedding in England on 14 June 2014. I planned to start planning the wedding once I returned to England on 21 November 2013.

Every day I sat down and did research and thought about what I wanted for my wedding: dress, invitation cards, cake, type of food, etc. After a month of doing this, a great mounting fear overwhelmed me. I was never going to get anything done because I couldn’t decide on literally ANYTHING.

I couldn’t decide which invitation card design to pick. I couldn’t decide what type of necklace to wear. I couldn’t decide whether to have champagne at the ceremony or later. I couldn’t decide what bloody time to start the wedding.

 

Pick Me! Pick Me! Pick Me!

 

Piers, seeing how stressed I was, said, “We don’t have to have the wedding, you know. There’s no point spending loads of money on it if we’re gonna be all stressed and not enjoy it.”

So I started giving that option serious thought.

Every day for a month, I thought about it. I discussed it with Piers, with my friends, with his parents. Everyone gave a lot of suggestions and ideas. They helped, and they didn’t. Because, in the end, WE still had to decide stuff ourselves.

One moment I was convinced I wanted it, the next I was convinced I didn’t. Every day, I got more and more stressed that the deadline was looming and everything’s going to be fully booked by the time I decide I want it.

 

Do what you want

 

We drew up a pros and cons list and assigned scores to every item on the list. The cons ended up with double the points. Pro: 400, Cons: 825.

The main pro is that it’s our once in a lifetime special day to share with family and friends, and mine are flying all the way to England for that.

The main cons are stress and cost. Even the most basic celebration would cost £8,000. (An average wedding in England costs £20,000.) We find it hard to justify spending any money on a wedding when we are in fact already married, plus we’re also planning to buy a new house and move out at the same time.

Still, even with the scores so clear cut, it was very hard to just say no and scrap the whole thing. And Piers refused to make any final decision because he said weddings are a girl thing so I should have the last say. (He’s as good as I at copping out.)

 

Weddings are a girl thing

 

Then, a week ago, I told myself, “Enough of this tomfoolery! I MUST DECIDE BY TOMORROW.”

To my credit, tomorrow came and I decided yes, we must do it because I don’t want to regret not ever doing it!

When Piers got home, I told him, “Yeah, by the way, I’ve decided we should do the wedding.”

His response was totally unexpected. He said, “WHAT? When did you decide?!”

“This afternoon!” I said.

“What! Why didn’t you tell me!”

“I’m telling you now!”

“Oh no, now I’m stressed!”

Then he started going through all the cons again (which did have higher marks).

I rolled my eyes and said, “Okay, let’s NOT do the wedding. I’m so cool with that.”

He said, “No! We can’t!”

“WTF.”

Long story short, it turns out he’s so undecided himself he can’t even accept a decision from me no matter which option I pick. And he also succeeded in making me unmake my decision so I felt fickle all over again.

Do we deserve a Guinness Award for the most indecisive couple ever, or what.

 

Guinness Award for Most Indecisive Couple

 

He wanted more time to think about it, so I gave him time. Days passed. We didn’t make any serious effort at deciding because it was just too difficult. We gave ourselves a deadline for decision. The deadline came and went and no decision was made.

The day after the deadline, when I pressed him, he told me I needed to give my answer first, then he’ll decide whether to go along.

I told him that I had decided first the last time, so it’s his time to decide first, now.

He said, “Seriously, I’m more or less 50-50 on it.”

I said, “Well, me too!”

Then, he said, “Let’s toss a coin tonight. It’s the only way we can ever decide.”

I said, “Okay.”

And that was how we ended up deciding that the best way to decide whether to have a wedding or not is to toss a coin.

To be continued (after coin toss)…

This year, I’m making a wish

I always get melancholically introspective on New Year’s Eve. This year is no different.

Some years I’m out partying my head off, getting drunk during the big countdown. Other years I’m at home sullenly watching some new year countdown show or other, sullen not because I’m home on New Year’s Eve but because I hate countdown shows.

I am always forced to watch the blasted shows because someone or other at home will feel that it’s every human being’s sworn duty to watch the countdown show for no better reason than “What? It’s the COUNTDOWN show!” and therefore will have the TV tuned to the right channel even before the show starts.

I don’t like those shows because they are always the same every year. Crowds, fireworks, inane chatter, too much screaming, and nothing is remotely entertaining in the artistic sense and I can’t see my life or brain being bettered by them.

 

 

Ok I don’t want to spoil the mood by ranting about TV shows so I shall go back to talking about this melancholic introspectovirus I catch every year end. And I’ll tell you what I’m introspecting today.

Like I’ve mentioned again and again, I am of the belief that New Year’s Day is just another day similar to any other day in that the sun rises and then sets, but attached profound significance because of a sequence of numbers and the genius of capitalists.

In other words, it’s overhyped.

Therefore, I feel resentful of society’s insistence on having me take stock of my life this time of the year, making new resolutions and all that crap. Because, I DO feel the need to do such a thing every year and it annoys me how illogical and pressurising it is. And it’s also a useless endeavour because hardly anyone I know ever keeps their resolutions, unless they’re clever and make resolutions such as get more massages or eat more chocolate.

So I get all melancholic because I’m taking stock while being annoyed at myself for doing it and getting stressed, and resenting the deadline. Then the new year comes and I’m, like, NOOOOOO I’m not ready! I haven’t finished doing last year’s laundry!

 

 

The new year comes, anyway, regardless of my feelings about the matter and we continue to bumble on as we’ve always done before the big countdown, and it doesn’t matter whether you’d spent it drunk at a pub or sullen at home watching the countdown show, because nothing changes.

Nevertheless, I do have a list of new year’s resolutions in my head which I made a lifetime ago and have struggled to follow through the year and will continue to struggle to follow till the end of my time.

Because, while I don’t believe in the possibility of change at the turn of a clock, I believe in evolution. Not in the Big Bang sense, but in the sense that things do change, slowly and gradually, much like how your chilli plant dies a slow, silent death if you forget to feed it some water. (I’m sorry, Mr Chilli.)

 

 

So, my resolutions list can be summarised as follows: Strive to be a good person and live life as meaningfully and fully as possible.

It’s very difficult to be a good person. Someone who’s kind, empathetic, non-judgemental, believes in the good of the world and delights in bringing happiness to others.

Other people make it difficult for me to be nice. Countdown shows make it difficult. The weather makes it difficult. Bills make it difficult. There’s always something in the way. But I always try and try because that’s my perennial wish for the world. That everyone tries, too.