‘Boys don’t make resolutions’
Sam Wilson begins 2011 with a light bulb moment. And lots of spring rolls.
With the start of the New Year and the fresh bliss of new pencils (seriously, is there anything as happymaking as a brand-new, pointy pencil?), comes the time-honoured urge to make broad sweeping promises to oneself about the year ahead.

‘This is the year I lose 10kgs!’ I’ll say to myself, with ferocious conviction. (I am way too smart to say this out loud to anyone else. Rookie weight loss mistake.)

The weight one always sparks off a whole series of others, which I do say out loud.

‘This is the year I figure out e-filing!’ I told the family imperiously over New Year breakfast.  ‘And take all that bitter rocket out of the herb garden! And actually call someone in to fix the chest freezer slow leak as opposed to just squishing old newspapers under it once a week! And clean out my wardrobe! And...’

I tapered off here, as I noticed everyone just quietly spooning cereal into themselves whilst staring at me in slightly distracted bemusement. (You know that look, where your family is trying as hard as possible to pretend they are listening without having to sacrifice their much more entertaining daydreams.)

‘Seriously?’ I said to my family, in bewilderment. ‘Not one of you wants to make New Year’s Resolutions?’

The boys stared pointedly at their father, which is well-known boy code for:  ‘You tell her.’

Andreas cleared his throat.

‘Well, no, but don’t let us stop you; you love making resolutions,’ he said, supportively. ‘Um... how about exercise? You usually make a resolution about exercise... doesn’t she, boys?’

The boys nodded their heads vigorously in unison, before ducking back down to their cereal.

And that’s when it struck me. Boys don’t make New Year’s Resolutions. It’s an almost exclusively chick pursuit. Seriously, when last did you hear a man proclaim: ‘This is the year I sort out the shed!’ or ‘In 2011, I am conquering my DIY-phobia!’?
Exactly. Never.

I took this little light bulb with me to my Monday Mommy date with my friend Rosie.

‘This year...’ she began, while spooning Phad Thai onto her plate and signalling the waiter for more spring rolls, ‘I am going to get fit, and ...’

‘Ha! Stop right there!’ I interrupted. ‘See what you are doing? You’re in automatic New Year’s Resolution Mode, right?’
‘Well, duh,’ she replied, through a mouthful of noodles. ‘It’s New Year.’

“But men don’t do this!” I exclaimed, spearing our third spring roll before she noticed. ‘Only women make New Year’s Resolutions! And I think I know why. Women are so bad at accepting themselves for who they are, warts and all, that we feel the need to choose a whole lot of sticks to beat ourselves with at the beginning of each year. It’s a terrible indictment of society as a whole and the way women never feel good enough!’

Rosie’s eyes opened wide. (But that may just have been her noticing my sneaky 3rd spring roll move.)
“You’re right,” she said, re-signalling the waiter. “Now that I think about it, I have never heard a man make a New Year’s Resolution. And it’s not as it’s because they are without flaw as an entire gender.”

At this point, we cackled so loudly that the waiter decided to deposit our additional spring rolls on another table entirely, just to keep away from us for a bit.

So this year, dear readers, I am making not a single resolution. (Even that silent weight one.) This year, I am going to take a leaf out of Andreas’s and the boys’ books, and just get on with being myself and as happy as possible. And instantly, 2011 is looking a whole lot less stressful.

Do you and your family make resolutions? And is it a female thing?

Read more by Sam Wilson

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