No, the answer is not “00:01 on 1st January”, thank you very much. I think most people will agree that, in fact, the New Year begins where the holiday season ends: going back to work. In my case, the New Year started yesterday, when I flew back to Boston for the final time. (Can you sense the excitement?) I flew with American Airlines, not wholly of my own volition; I bought the tickets on Priceline‘s “name your own price” service, where you don’t find out your airline until after you’ve booked. In my experience, American Airlines have old planes, which means poor entertainment systems (think back to ye olden days of one screen mounted on the ceiling showing one reel of PG films/sit-coms), mediocre food, and in this particular case poor staff (because I turned down the initial drink offering—I had my own bottle of water with me, and I don’t like to be wasteful—when the actual meal came around the hostess then asked me snidely, “Will you be eating?”). Still, I got back in one piece, and that’s the main thing.
As I’d booked a morning-afternoon flight, I got back in fairly good shape and not overly tired, so I went to the gym. I’ll confess, however, that it wasn’t solely my willpower driving me to the gym. It was the fact that the night before, my father and I had watched Claire Sweeney’s Big Fat Diet. I thought that it might be a bit like awful, rubbish celebrity ‘reality’ tv, but it wasn’t. I felt so much empathy for Claire as she embarked upon what was essentially the ‘living as you want’ diet. Watching her health risks rise scared both me and my father, aside from the shocking visuals of how only 3 weeks without exercise or controlled diet can begin to radically change one’s body shape.
Between watching that and getting back here (where deadlines suddenly seem far more real and close), my New Year has definitely leapt out of the gates after what threatened to be a sluggish start!