Nathan, Sinéad, Ellen and Anna recall their biggest New Year's resolution failures.
Nathan Young - Deputy Editor
I’ve always enjoyed cooking. I’m no great chef, but I’m relatively handy in the kitchen. With a bit of time to prep, I’m also able to throw larger affairs, such as barbecues and cocktail parties. Having gone a longish period without that kind of thing, I challenged myself to host at least one part a month in 2020, where I had hand prepared at least some of the food or drink. For the first two months, I was successful. A few friends for a pasta night one evening, and a small cocktail party where I mixed the drinks a month later.
So far so good, but if you, dear reader, can’t predict why I failed to keep this going, you may need to have your memory checked. With the global pandemic and national lockdown starting in late March, all my plans were scrapped. My flatmates and I took turns preparing meals for one another and of course, I took my fair turns, but it wasn’t the same as hosting a party.
This isn’t to say we didn’t cook each other tasty food in lockdown, we did, nor that I don’t love my flatmates, I do. Much as one can love their family and yet not think of Tuesday dinner with them as special, there is something about an event, about reuniting with old friends, or crossing the wires of different social circles, or just inviting acquaintances you’d like to become friends with, that really makes a party special. Man, I just wanna grill for God’s sake!
Sinéad Keating - Art and Architecture Editor
2017 was going to be my year. I was determined to have abs for summer, or rather I liked the idea and I thought it would be easy enough to achieve. I started this new year's resolution when the college semester began in January. My full timetable left only evenings free for the gym. I headed to the sports centre and, not knowing about the members-only hours, I couldn't get past the main gym gates. Embarrassment number one as the hot guy at the desk had to stop me after my uCard got rejected and tell me to go find the performance gym. I walked up the stairs and around corridors confused until I saw someone else go past the handball court. I followed them up the steps with the handball lads sitting there clearly wondering why I was walking up to the gym fully clothed in jeans and a jumper and with my bag on my back. I saw the performance gym entrance but no changing rooms, and I walked straight down past everyone staring again. I decided that was enough exploring for one day, and certainly enough embarrassment, and went home. I never did find out how the changing-rooms-to-performance-gym system worked that year.
Living on campus, my little Belgrove room didn't have the floor space to follow along with a workout video so my motivation quickly fell away. Not to mention the fact that I knew I was going to be spending the summer working in a shop without my abs (or lack thereof) on show.
On the bright side, I did find the courage to go to the gym in second year and I discovered that it's really not a scary place, and that no first-year immediately knows where everything is.
Ellen Duggan - OTwo Co-editor
It took me 22 years to realise that New Year’s Resolutions, much like diets, only end in hedonism. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing in particular against hedonism, it has its moments - but last New Years Eve, sitting with my friends around a table in Cork City, we made the mutual decision to adjust the ritual of passing the oncoming Resolution talking stick. We decided to aim less for solid goals (more Duolingo, less Myfitnesspal) and aim strictly for the resolution jackpot that is: ‘emotional fulfilment’.
As the metaphorical talking stick orbited around the table, my friends said their New Year’s resolutions were to feel ‘love’, ‘pride’, ‘less critical exhaustion’ and other such heartwarming aspirations. When it came to me, all of the easy to summon options had been chosen. I thought for a second, before deciding on ‘excitement’.
Innocently aiming to achieve that emotion in 2020, was, without a doubt, my most failed resolution of all time. Over the past ten months, I have spent less time being excited than I have being vaccinated. I.E. zero. I don’t want to come off as crotchety, but I can’t help but feel that I jinxed us all with this one guys. I can definitely say that this year has gotten my heart racing, but purely for reasons of awe and horror. I truly cannot remember what excitement feels like and so I have failed us all, utterly. I’ll do better next year :)
Anna Blackburn - Literature and Drama Editor
As an English student, I am constantly bombarded with reading lists for classes and often don’t have time to read for pleasure. Between college, household chores, and work, I am booked!
So I told myself that this year I was going to kickstart my reading in January - to not only push myself to do all the required reading for classes, but to also read a few of the novels collecting dust on my bookshelf. Sadly, it’s nearly February and the only time I have touched a book was to take a photograph of it, as I was recommending it to a friend.
I have a long list of books I want to read including Becoming Michelle Obama, Roddy Doyle’s new release Love, Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, and several others from a wide range of genres. Reading makes me feel productive in my free time, whether it's a news article, short story, poem, or novel, I always feel like I am gaining something from the things I read.
Unfortunate but not surprising, I got sucked into a series on Netflix called The 100 and am left in suspense at the end of every episode. Which as a result, leads me to watch yet another episode of the show instead of reading.
Come February, I will be telling myself again to start my choice reading. Hopefully my brain will be more willing by then.