Susan Morrison: Don’t get back on the resolutions treadmill

Gyms in January are packed with people who have resolved to get fit
Gyms in January are packed with people who have resolved to get fit
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It has been a funny old year, 2018. On the upside, I am ­delighted to report that I finally managed to stick to a New Year’s resolution. I lost weight. On the downside, that was because they found out I had breast cancer back in April, which led to some ­fairly drastic re-engineering of the topography of my frontal elevation.

Still, onwards and upwards. ­Fatigue, that dread side-effect of radiotherapy has not appeared, touch wood. Just as well, because Santa’s Little Helper has little time for weariness when the halls must be decked with boughs of Poundland tinsel, plastic ivy and ­colour changing LED Christmas trees. We don’t do tasteful home and ­gardens in our house.

A cocktail is not a drink for a grown-up

A cocktail is not a drink for a grown-up

I hope your year was less dramatic, and you’re looking forward to 2019. Take my advice, ditch that making resolutions thing.

January lumbers towards us like an animated credit card bill, full of ­reproach, finger-wagging and ­reminders of things bought but best forgotten. February’s not much better, although, in its favour, you do start to see the days getting a little longer. At least it clears off quicker, like a guest who knows they’ve brought substandard shortbread to the party.

Resolutions are the grim Presbyterian payback for the Christmas fun. They only set you up to fail for a whole year.

Take my gym. Every January, it’s packed with hordes of new bunnies in suspiciously white trainers and spotless workout gear. They usually disappear around the third week. I’m fairly sure they fail to hit their workout goals, but at least they shed the pounds, ­albeit off their bank balances. I don’t really mind them. It’s the no-booze bores that get me. If you’re giving up alcohol for an entire month, good for you, but I don’t need to know.

You may have a clearer brain than you’ve ever had for years, you might well be sleeping for Scotland, and you probably are radiating the sort of healthy glow you expect to find emanating from irradiated mice scurrying away from one of Britain’s ageing and leaky nuclear power stations, but you’ve just cut out a food group for a couple of weeks mate, not conquered Everest, run a sub-four minute mile and/or brought peace to the Middle East.

I don’t hold with this fashionable temporary temperance myself. Look to the lessons of our dear American ­cousins, forced into the biggest dry spell in history by a government in thrall to a vocal and well-financed minority. The demon drink went down the drain, but an entire nation turned criminal to get their mitts on bootleg booze, thus leading to the rise of organised crime, ­machine guns on the streets and the ­creation of the cocktail, which, as far as I am concerned, is a crime against humanity.

I never got the cocktail thing. If I wanted a beverage with ­foliage growing out if it I’d drink that fruit juice I found at the bottom of the fridge last week.

I refuse to entertain a drink with enough ice to hole an ocean-going liner doing roughly 22 knots straight towards an iceberg. Yes, I realise that’s just me and my Titanic ‘problem’, but what’s the point of a drink that gives you frostbite just by holding it?

Straws? What adult needs a straw in their glass? The last drink I sooked up through a straw was a melting knickerbocker glory in the Crown Cafe in Dunoon. I was wearing a tank top, ankle socks and Cliff Richard was in the charts.

Nobody needs a drink with more than two colours in it, and certainly nothing that involves grenadine, glitter or, heaven forfend, tiny wee umbrellas sticking in your eye every time you take a sip.

Cocktails are for people who don’t actually like booze. Leave the real drink to the grown-ups.

Classic example of positive thinking on drink

Don’t do the grim resolve thing. Instead, make a list of 12 things you might want to do this year. It can be as mad as you like. Learn French, go scuba-diving, read a book a week or take up Tae-Kwon-Do.

Heck, you can give up drinking, but only if it’s a positive thing you want to do.

A couple of years back, a friend of mine cut down her drink and saved her money to buy some clapped-out classic car she wanted to renovate. She bought it and paid for a specialist mechanic to help.

At least, that’s what she told me. The car’s still a wreck, by the way, but she married the mechanic and now they’ve got twins, so clearly something under the bonnet was working well.

A good year gets my vote

Let’s enjoy 2019, even though we know we’re staring at possibly one general election, another referendum on something about something and probably more Prime Ministers than we’re used to in a twelve-month period. Let’s resolve to keep smiling! A grand and good New Year to you all!