In February.  No, I didn’t lose track of time, or forget this.  (Although, I’m in Singapore right now, and it is the Chinese Lunar New Year, so maybe I’m not really late…)

Year of the Rat, Singapore’s Chinatown on a rainy day
Year of the Rat, Singapore’s Chinatown on a rainy day

New Year Resolutions have always bothered me.  I was really sick over this New Year, and was lying on the couch one day, watching daytime TV – never a good thing.  But, on this particular morning, a group of TV presenters were discussing resolutions, and the one, who was very pro, had given the other 4 presenters notebooks, and asked them to each write down 4 resolutions – one re family, one for work, one for health / well-being, and one other.  One by one, they turned over their notebooks and revealed what they had written – More quality time….  Stop checking my phone…  Date nights with my partner….  Go to gym…  Eat better…  All the standard stuff.  Until the last – who turned over her book, to reveal…  nothing.  She said – I don’t get it.  Why do we wait until a certain date?  When I want to achieve something, I work on it.  If I want to go somewhere, I book it.  If I need to buy something, I buy it.  If I want to get fit, I start walking.  If I want to improve my marriage, I talk to my husband.  We don’t have infinite time – why wait until a certain date to start working on something, when we could start today?  I just don’t get it.  Which is my thought entirely.  80% of all NYR fail.  We turn the calendar to 01.01 and blindly panic, thinking Oh My Word, I don’t have anything…  Umm….  I’m going to get fit.  And guess what?  We fail.  And then, hello mental rehearsal – I failed that, therefore I’m a failure, so I’ll sit on my couch and eat chocolate.  But, if you truly know what you want, you’ll work on it from the time you choose, and anything is possible…

My 2020 includes 6 hectic fitness challenges, and since I broke my knee two years ago, I am the least fit I have ever been in my life.  And there I was, lying on the couch at New Year (I swear it was man flu at least, could have died…).  If my resolution had been to go to gym – I’d already have failed.  But, vertical is now possible, and yesterday I power walked for 30 minutes.  I have 5 months until the first event, and my cunning plan is that if I’m fit enough for the first, slightly easier challenge, it’ll help my fitness for no 2, which will help for no 3 and so on.  We (I’m not relying on myself for all this, friend is challenged too…) will get there, because a plan is in place, not simply a “Let’s make a resolution”.

My walking route takes me around a reservoir, a good distraction from exercise…
My walking route takes me around a reservoir, a good distraction from exercise…

And yet, I still didn’t write this blog on time.  Because?  Well, there was still some niggle in the back of my mind, saying there is something else…

Kobe Bryant, world famous basketball player, died today in a helicopter crash.  And watching one of his interviews, the point became clear…

“If I had the power to turn back time, I would never use it.  Because then every moment that you go through means absolutely nothing because you can always go back and do it again.  So it loses its flavour, it loses its beauty.  When things are final, you know that these moments won’t ever come again.   If we had the power to go back and re-experience those things….  It’s silly to me.”

So many NYR across social media begin with “A new beginning!” or “A new year, a new me!”  or “Start over!”.  And I start to get twitchy.  We can’t start over.  I’ve made mistakes, I’ve had uncomfortable situations, I have things in my past I’d rather forget.  But, to actually forget them?  No way.  Every situation is a lesson, and all of these lessons make you who you are today.  I learnt not to run through airports without tying up your shoelaces, and not to step into a slippery bathtub without due care, since those two things broke my knee.  Pretty valuable, yes?

I leant not to ride horses when my little inner voice said – maybe don’t get on this one today – and I did anyway and wrecked my back.  I learnt to look for the physical reasons why horses are nasty, unpredictable or unhappy.  They’re not idiots or mean; they scared or sore or vulnerable.  I’ve learnt that people are not all good.  But they’re not all bad either.

A wise person once said to me, that in work you can have one year of experience that you repeat 17 times, or you can have 17 years of experience.  It’s not the same thing.

So, new year, new me?  New year, new plan?  New year, new horse challenge?  No thanks, I’ll just stick to having 30 years of work experience, and a few more than that of this human’s experience and work, or add on, from there….

Welcome to the Year of the Rat everyone!

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