meI am always in conflict about setting goals for the new year. It is true that it is an arbitrary time score and you can set goals whenever you want. But there is something to be said for the new psychological beginning that January brings, particularly when 2020 was so bad that if it were a person, you would go to a party and punch him in the face. Instead of trying, they were all clapping and forming a queue so that they too could punch him in the face. Then you would find out that he had given you the whole crown.
That is why I, like many of us, have been thinking about the best way to achieve happiness this year. Not even happiness. Contentment. One of the things I read about how to achieve this was the idea that being in the moment is one of the key things you can do. This is because most of our anxiety and suffering comes from the way we process something and not from the thing itself.
This sounds like psycho nonsense, but I recently found it useful when going on live TV to talk about my book. Normally, I’d spend the day before petrified for several reasons: I’m going to say something cancellable; I will be completely boring; I will offend one of the presenters; my flies will undo; my eyes will look particularly soft; Not to mention the fact that my internal monologue would say, “Drop c-bomb, drop c-bomb, drop c-bomb.” This would mean that he would spend the whole day thinking about how much he was going to hate the experience, so he wouldn’t be able to enjoy anything he was doing that day either. So, I took the advice to just focus on what I was doing. The result? I enjoyed the day before and arrived at the fair without any luggage. Now I worry less, so I don’t care that, indeed, my only perception is that I am advising you to do the same.
“Being in the moment” means that I am considering meditative activities, such as cooking. My wife’s insistence that the quality of my meals does not mitigate the mess that I think means I’ve tended to stray away from the kitchen, but I’ve decided enough is enough. I’m going to master some next-level culinary skills to finally earn the respect of my family. Ideally I would do this in secret. I could go to secret cooking classes and then one day offer to cook, have the family agree to expect some kind of potato waffle nugget food, and then present a souffle. Or whatever is awesome to do right now, since I don’t think anyone has made a souffle at home since 1984.
The other thing I commit to is DJing. I have the covers; Now I need to spend my time working on the craft so that sometime this year I can dazzle people at a club. Or something. If I came to a standard where I could play a party and no one asked me if the DJ is a guy with work experience, I would consider my 2021 to be done. Let’s ignore the fact that the pandemic meant I had a lot more time to do these things last year, but I still couldn’t do it. Happy New Year.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism