By Stefano Blanca Sciacaluga
In today's world the hardest thing to start is probably a new week. Even if we're happy with our jobs - and here's where we can throw that age-old phrase of, "if you love your job it won't feel like a chore to go to work" out the window - ending a week and starting a new one is difficult. Harder than starting my Fiat Panda first go in the cold, or the heat, or anything in between. It's seven in the evening on a Sunday and I'm already stressed about one deadline, and three busy evenings in a row, and the prospect of hearing my alarm at eight after what will no doubt be (after what experience has shown me) a four or five hour night, after staying up late watching TV waiting for tiredness to kick in, followed by a good hour or so of freaking out thinking of everything that needs doing during the week, is terrifying.
But we do that more than fifty times a year, that's a lot of times we need to wake up to start a new week; and if you're anything like me that's a whole lot of, "OK this is the week I start to...". And I fail. I fail every single time, I'm an idiot like that. I don't know what it is or how to fix it so I have to live week to week either hating myself for once again making false promises or trying to accept and understand that I will never do everything I want to for as long as I need to get up at eight on a Monday to rush through my morning routine, to get to the office for nine and to work until five. I just can't change. I need like a boot camp dude, whatever they're called, to be with me at all times and make me do everything I 'plan' to do. But fifty, right? That's a lot. And the way I see it, they're all just like mini drills for the real deal: starting a new year.
I don't know what the policy is on swearing on here so I'm just going to say that starting a new year is bovine excrement. I'm willing to bet all my money that ninety five percent of the population hates it too. And those who do enjoy it are either mental or the kind of people that are always like "time is just a man-made concept...", those trolls can go back to where they came from, under that bridge by Gilbert's, where they sell used cars. How difficult is it to start a new year!? First of all if you're ever lying to yourself from week to week this is the one time where you lie to yourself like never before. New year, new me my ass. After a month of food and alcohol abuse nobody has any energy to turn their lives around. The proof is that some people, the ones with a little bit of energy (boring people), end up going into the new year too hard, flexing on Facebook, using the machines next to the window at the gym, and burning out by the second week of February. Humans can handle just that much pain. Oh and doing anything outside in January? I guess it works for the Southern Hemisphere, new year new me, let's go to the beach for New Years, woof it's a hundred degrees on Bondi Beach, haha surf's up! But it's cold. And I've seen people in places colder than Gibraltar go on about how they went for a run this morning, in the New York snow. Good for you.
But it goes beyond the physical difficulty of starting a new year. It's probably harder mentally. Everybody's bombarding you with their summer holiday plans, all the weddings they're going to and the ones you're dreading, and people are complaining about the cold and you know full well they'll be complaining about the heat in August, and there's always the one person who's somehow not cold, and can't stop going on about how it's colder elsewhere and the people whingeing there's nothing happening in the winter months (you make things)... and then to make matters worse you have to spend a month or two writing 2016 EVERYWHERE. Ruining your new diary, setting iCal appointments in the past and then not getting notifications for them and just looking like a complete idiot.
It's difficult, man. I like to plan things properly, I like to stay organised and make sure I know what's happening with enough time to change plans if need be; I like to look to the future, because I know how quick days, weeks and months go by, and plan things weeks and even months ahead. And all of this is perfectly fine, I think. In fact, and not just because I do it myself, but I do like to see people who do it, who organise themselves properly, and yes, the new year is a great way to start fresh, and I do like a fresh start. But maybe there's a solution, a way of making the first few days of a new year less like an extra long Sunday-Monday combo. I know we all disappoint ourselves with our resolutions; we don't stop drinking, we don't stop smoking, we don't do everything we think we should do; and maybe we shouldn't. Maybe we shouldn't set ourselves goals that deep down we know we couldn't be able to achieve, because they are difficult. Maybe we should be more realistic with our goals, or focus more on being more carefree, less in your face about things to people, less imposing with our thoughts and morals, more respectful and caring, more open to reasonable debate and differences of opinions and beliefs, less selfish, less arrogant and big headed and finally come to a realisation that as people we're really all in it together. Everyone goes through the same things, everybody hates Mondays, let's just make this big 'Monday' and all the Mondays of the year a little easier for each other.
Let's have a good year.
Stefano Blanca is a writer, artist, photographer and musician living and working in Gibraltar