COLM O'REGAN: My DBT-to-GDP ratio is high

They are already in tatters.

I’m sanguine about big bad things but when a spatula in a small saucepan of beans overbalances and falls onto the floor with its beansy load, I see red

I thought I would do better this year. I took every precaution. I made my New Year’s resolutions in November when it was quiet hoping to make a bit of headway before rush-hour. But now on Blue Monday my resolve has dissolved. The resolutions themselves weren’t too ambitious. The main point was to get the DBT-to-GDP (doing bad things-to-good practice) ratio down to a more manageable level. They included:

* Shouting at inanimate objects — you wouldn’t think it to look at me but I carry a lot of rage around. It seems to explode when a particular act of fate triggers them. I’m sanguine about big bad things but when a spatula in a small saucepan of beans overbalances and falls onto the floor with its beansy load, I see red. The saucepan, the spatula, the beans and, oddly enough, the floor are all decorated with a string of names of Anglo-Saxon origin. This resolution has been shredded due to a sequence of incidents: not being able to find the keys, hitting my head off an open kitchen cupboard door and the peas getting loose in the freezer.

* Reading the comments — the time-suck to end all time-sucks. The internet is full of people who, when they are not shouting at spatulas, are venting their rage at every other subject in sight. It’s their right to do it but I shouldn’t care what they think. Rage, snarking at grammar (only I’m allowed do that), whatabouttery, ‘your mam’, trolling. I had made up my own mind to make up my own mind when I read something online. This lasted about an hour and I was soon skipping through the carefully crafted words of the article’s author to see what the chatter was down below the line. It’s reheated pizza for the brain but it tastes so good.

* Procrastination about financial things. Bank charges, car insurance, phone bills tied up with string — these are a few of my least favourite things and apparently there is better value out there but my financial management in January continues in the following combination: “Oh look! 33% extra free in this Dolmio — that’s good value” and “Change banks! But that’s so much effort”

* Sit-ups — do some. In any montage about getting into shape there are sit-ups. At the start they are obviously difficult but if you stick at it you are soon raising yourself into a standing position and tapping the personal trainer’s headguard like Prince Naseem. I have done 15 sit-ups in 2014 — one a day with a break for weekends.

* Go to bed. GO TO BED. I think I am still exulting in the fact that I’m an adult and no one can tell me to go to bed. I’ll never miss the end of ‘the film’ or The Late Late Show or the last episode of V ever again. But this year I decided to stop reacting to non-existent imposition and get some sleep, until a number of Battlestar Galactica-watching marathons on Netflix put this resolution firmly to bed.

Despite all of this, I do have another chance to redeem myself — the Chinese New Year starts on January 31.


It’s the personal stories from Bruce Springsteen that turn his new ‘Western Stars’ documentary into something special, the director tells Esther McCarthy.Bruce Springsteen's Western Stars documentary more than just a music film

Apart from the several variations in its spelling in Irish and English, Inishtubbrid, Co Clare is also recognised by three other names: Wall’s Island; O’Grady’s Island and Inishtubber which surely puts it up there as the island with most names — not counting say Inisvickillane, Co Kerry which has about 33 variations to that spelling.The Islands of Ireland: In search of tranquility

More and more communities and volunteers are taking on environmental tasks around the country. In Clonmel, Co Tipperary, for example, people have united to get rid of Himalayan balsam, an invasive plant, from the banks of the River Suir.‘Bashing’ invasive plants

Halloween has become a consumer fest in recent years but there are a number of ways to reduce costs and waste — and make itHappy sustainable Halloween: Don’t be horrified with the waste at Halloween

More From The Irish Examiner