Weighing in on New Year resolutions

Planning on creating a brand new you next year? Pat Fitzpatrick examines the heavy lifting of giving up

There was a time when not having New Year’s resolutions was a sign you were a Proper Irish Person. While the rest of the world went on a diet and stopped cursing, your Proper Irish Person sat around with a nine-pack of Hula Hoops and said, “what’s the fucking point?” Great times. Good philosophy too. We’re all getting a year older, get over it.

Unfortunately, you’d never get away with that these days. The new Ireland is run by the kind of person who arrived back from their J1 with five sweatshirts that had USA in huge letters on the front.

So now the Proper Irish Person has to at least pretend to embrace self- improvement, for fear of getting left behind. Here’s what I’ll be telling people when they ask how I plan to become a better person in 2018. (I won’t follow through on half of them. Seriously, what’s the fucking point?)

Lift Weights

I just finished reading an article in the Daily Telegraph which said that a man of my age should be lifting weights three times a week. It was next to an article saying that Brexit was amazing, so pinch of salt and all that. But apparently strong is the new skinny, so it’s important to be seen with a few dumbbells if you want people to take you seriously.

Weight-training is also said to be good for your libido, which might need a boost, if I decide to go for the buff look with a truck load of steroids. (Buff is also the new skinny.)

Dream On

I hate mindfulness. Who wants to live in the now, when the now is January, it gets bright for 14 seconds a day and I’m fighting off three different types of manflu. It’s pretty clear that mindfulness was invented by the super-rich to make us happy with our lot, so we won’t covet their super-yachts and weirdly tall girlfriends.

Well, I’m not having it. I plan to live in the future, July to be precise, when we are planning to spend a fortnight in Spain. If I don’t like it when we get there, I’ll start to day-dream about a weekend in Berlin with my wife. If she’s not on for this, I’ll daydream about going there with a weirdly tall girl.

Stand up

They say sitting is the new smoking. I keep hearing it from from people who read articles called ‘Five things to drop into conversation that will make you seem more intelligent’.

Anyway, it would be foolish to ignore this, given that I sit for a living. One solution is to take up smoking again, because I need to sit to make a living, and that’s going to kill me anyway. My wife made a face when I said this. I’m not going to bother with one of those stand-up desks, because then 2018 would be the year when they discover that standing is the new sitting. So, I’ll just stretch my legs every 20 minutes.

Learn Irish

My kids are in Gaelscoil. I know I shouldn’t feel weird about this, but I grew up in the 1970s, when forcing your kids to learn Irish meant you were a mid-ranking official in the IRA. Anyway, my kids love their school and teachers, and I love every word of Irish that comes out of their mouths. The problem is, I can’t half understand half of them. That’s uafásach. I want to be weaned off Google Translate by the end of 2018. This is a good thing all around. Given the waiting lists for Gaelscoileanna, it’s clear that Irish is the new tanaí. (Look it up.)

Make sneaky kefir

It’s clear now that our gut is to blame for everything. Not in the traditional sense, where it sticks out so much you have to buy an XXXL jumper, and no one wants to have sex with you any more.

Bad Gut 2.0 is based on the fact that everything from cancer to depression starts with bacteria down there. The solution to this is probiotics, apparently. (I’m not a doctor, just so you know.) It’s even more de rigueur to make your own probiotic yoghurt using live kefir, which we got from a friend in West Cork (where else?) It tastes as bad as it sounds. I’m going to start sneaking some into the kids’ porridge every morning. That’s so 2018.

Go ice skating

I tried ice skating in London there in late November. I managed to get about 40 metres around the rink. It was the longest two and a half hours of my life. Old me would have taken this as a sign that I should try something different, such as a pizza and a pint.

However, even though I hate the self-improvement squad, their daft, up-beat determination has got into my head. So, I can’t believe I’m saying this sober and in public, but I’m going to try and learn how to skate on ice. Or maybe I won’t. (What’s the fucking point?)


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