New Year 2013

Fireworks at the New Year countdown in London.
Fireworks at the New Year countdown in London.

First of all, a caveat: this is a post filled with lots of clichés. Secondly, I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year and I hope that 2013 turns out to be way better than 2012. Of course 2013 will go by as fast as, or even faster than 2012, so make the most of it.

Thirdly, unlike last year when I had a long list, this year, I have only three New Year Resolutions. Well, they are not technically Resolutions since I came up with them after midnight yesterday, just to, you know, “go with the crowd”. These are things I have had at the back of my mind for a while now, so I am using the commencement of the New Year as an opportunity.

Resolution 1 is spiritual. My definition of “spiritual” has nothing to do with meditation, astral travel, astrology, tarot or any such thing by the way.

Resolution 2 is greater consistency on this blog, meaning more regular and much shorter posts — the regular articles plus the Scholarship and Development Opportunities. Zainab’s Musings will also be wearing a whole new look soon. I won’t reveal much for now.

Resolution 3 is the one I came up with a few minutes after midnight — NO MORE NEW YEAR COUNTDOWNS! SERIOUSLY! I think I’ve just about had it with fireworks and other such pyrotechnics’ display after last night. New Year 2014, I shall be in the comfort, confines and warmth of my living room. Too many fireworks this year. By the way, did anyone notice the fireworks display in London lasted ONLY 10 minutes!? Boris Johnson, what happened?

Lastly and most importantly, I would like to say a very special thanks to my dear audience. To all those who read and follow this blog, those who post comments — the supportive, (constructively) critical, condescending, insulting and all other shades and hues of comments — those who send emails with words of advice, encouragement, support and proposals (yes proposals…of all sorts, I’m not divulging the details :-D); those who share my articles with individuals, groups and media organisations, ensuring they reach “relevant” places, I thank you all

I wish you all a blessed, fruitful and wonderful 2013.

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A Long Shot at Crafting New Year Resolutions

The year 2011 went by in a minute, in a flash. And as we bid farewell to it and herald 2012, we’ve made or are making resolutions consciously or subconsciously to make changes in our lives: to realize a long set of goals, to be better people, to be nicer etc. Usually, kicking old habits or adopting new ones typically top the list of resolutions such as quitting smoking, exercising or adopting a healthier lifestyle. I have made several resolutions in the past to learn how to swim, but I usually end up abandoning swimming class after a few weeks.

Many people though are of the opinion that it is pointless to make resolutions that we probably would not be able to stick to beyond the first few days of January, or that if we want to be better people or strive to make changes to our lives, we should do that instantly and not wait till the end of the year. Others yet think it is just plain unnecessary. Contrary to what others might think, I believe consciously or subconsciously, we ALL make resolutions towards the New Year and there is nothing inherently wrong with that. We assess the previous year: our successes and failures, our blessings and disappointments, our mistakes and achievements, and we make plans, set targets and goals, and envision how we would want the coming year to be like.

At a personal level, I didn’t even think I would have any resolutions, as at a few weeks ago. However, I took stock of the year and all that has happened and surprisingly I got quite a couple. There is nothing really spectacular about them, or unique. Some of them are spin-offs of well known adages and clichés, some are quite abstract, some might not even make sense to others but all of them are linked to one personal experience or the other.

Here they are, though they are not arranged in any particular order. And please don’t mind the hash tags; it’s because I started compiling it on twitter:

#NewYearResolution 1: Stop attempting to understand everything. Not everything is meant to make sense or to be understood in any situation we find ourselves in. Think about it…!

#NewYearResolution 2: There is nothing like a perfect person or a perfect situation. Learn to choose the lesser of two or more evils and go with that.

#NewYearResolution 3: Life’s a bitch (as the saying goes). People will always hurt, betray and disappoint you; situations will tend to fall way below expectations. Deal with it and move on!

#NewYearResolution 4: Life’s a bitch (again). Expect the best and worst from human beings. We are certainly capable of both! That way you minimize the tendency to be unnecessarily surprised or devastatingly disappointed.

#NewYearResolution 5: Life is short (another popular adage). Do what truly makes you happy and what you find fulfilling, just as long as you don’t hurt or disrespect anyone or transgress the guiding principles of your life.

#NewYearResolution 6: Whatever you believe in, have faith, renew your spiritual connection to the Almighty. It gives you a sense of purpose in life. And it is also the surest way to avoid and escape persistent depression.

#NewYearResolution 7: Read more books – meaningful ones. They say knowledge is power, it really is. It opens up new vistas you never knew existed, you literally feel the knowledge and power coursing through your veins. Okay maybe I’m stretching that a bit, but you can hardly go wrong with acquiring knowledge.

#NewYearResolution 8: Nigeria really is a basket case. Both leaders and followers are to blame for its myriad of problems. Therefore, please pray for Nigeria and Nigerians… when you can.

#NewYearResolution 9: Make no mistake about it; the world really has gone GAGA. I’m not referring to the popular American pop singer, Lady Gaga’s growing influence here. The world is really going nuts. Be productive to maintain your sanity in this mad world, do what you can and just leave the rest…

#NewYearResolution 10: Never think about what people can do for you, instead think about what you can do to/for others. Always plan to give more than you expect to receive. It’s another sure way of preventing disappointments.

#NewYearResolution 11: Eat the humble pie regularly. Saying “I’m Sorry” doesn’t cost much. It’s a magic phrase which works wonders.

#NewYearResolution 12: Be grateful to the Almighty for His blessings and magnanimity. You probably don’t realize it but you are blessed in so many ways and better-off than many around you.

#NewYearResolution 13: Every once in a while, take a step back and appreciate all that you have: the people around you, your achievements and even your mistakes and failures. This really helps in putting things into proper perspective.

#NewYearResolution 14: Hurt, betrayal and disappointment should make you neither bitter, angry and resentful at the whole world (it does happen) nor should it make you forget that Love is beautiful and real.

#NewYearResolution 15: Life is short, very short. You could die any second. How prepared are you for that? Have you embraced the stark reality of your mortality? Think about the legacy you will leave behind and what you will be remembered for.

#NewYearResolution 16: Be yourself! Another apparent cliché but really, think about it: it is refreshing and takes up much less energy than pretending to be something or someone you are not.

#NewYearResolution 17: Never give up! It might sound trite, clichéd and even boring but seriously, persistence, perseverance and determination for meaningful goals hardly ever go to waste.

#NewYearResolution 18: Whatever you are experiencing, good or bad, know that it will come to pass for nothing lasts forever. (This is a friend’s contribution)

#NewYearResolution 19: Learn to swim. I am very serious this time around!

#NewYearResolution 20: Finally, do not have too many New Year resolutions; else you probably won’t be able to stick to a third of them. 😀

Well, these are my resolutions or vision for 2012. Will I be able to stick to half of them? I have no idea, but I will certainly try. I wish you all a Happy New Year!! As the saying goes, may our best in 2011 be our worst in 2012.