Apologies if this is upsetting, but if it hurts to look at, imagine how it is to live with.
I've never been cynical about New Year's Eve; after all, having your friends around, lovely party or dinner and positively encouraged to stay up too late showing off - heaven.
The thing that does bore me though, is the harping on about giving stuff up, resolving to make life-shattering changes, join gyms, stop drinking, shopping, eating chocolate, enter a monastery. I've never subscribed the whole suffering-is-good-for-the-soul Protestant anti-fun ethic. Suffering and denial is crap for my soul. It makes me short-tempered and deeply resentful; bottles of wine appear on my desk at work from terrified employees and by January 15th, they have usually staged an intervention and taken me to the pub.
A couple of years ago, full of turning-40 mortality, I agreed to run a ten-mile marathon, which to my surprise involved months and months of training. I did the marathon (nobody more stunned than me), but ended the year about a stone heavier than I started as I have NEVER been so hungry in my life.
I think it's easier to resolve to add to one's life. I have sucessfully kept a five-year-old resolution to eat more cheese (I had to also buy a small fridge for my own personal use, but it was a small price to pay for on-tap Gorgonzola and Stinking Bishops) and only buy cashmere.
This year, I am counting blessings, and adding to someone else's life. If, like me, you are overwhelmed and sated by the sheer amount of STUFF there is to manage after a good Christmas haul, I suggest you give some away. I am adding clarity and peace to my existence. Encouraged by the saintly Maxminimus and someone close who knows the life-changing difference it can cause, I will pay for a couple of cleft-palate operations for children who have literally nothing.
In the meantime, there's a perfectly ripe Camembert in the kitchen with my name on it.