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The ‘new year, new you’ pressure

Monday 10 January 2022 | Written by Ruta Tangiiau Mave | Published in On the Street, Opinion

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The ‘new year, new you’ pressure
Ruta Tangiiau Mave

It’s now 2022 and it’s around about this time we start to hear the sound of breaking resolutions, writes Ruta Mave.

The year starts off with resounding optimism and bravado that this is the year we will become better people, better bodies, better minds. We suddenly list a collection of faults we want to change and improve, brand new characteristics or habits we have never in our lives displayed or even considered before. How did we come to the conclusion that we would be these new super organised and reliable multi-tasking beings who have life all figured out and are going to go through each day like a musical, all smiling and dancing with a biodegradable go cup no plastic lid, nondairy, low fat, no sugar, decaffeinated, high immunity, organic wheatgrass infused locally grown fruit smoothie? This is of course after our 5am boot camp workout and on our way to putting in a couple of hours of our online university course we decided we would do to expand our minds and consciousness – just because.

Heck, it’s no wonder we get so overwhelmed and exhausted in the first week that some of those great ideas of madness start to wither and die a sudden death before we make it back to work and the day to day grind, we have habitualised for the past 10 to 30 years. 

Before we start judging ourselves and beating our heads against the wall, calling ourselves a failure and typically useless we can’t hold this incredible new modern trendy ‘us’ together for a split second let’s go back a step. What was wrong with the old you, the 2021 you?  That body, mind and personality got you through the year, and probably several years prior to that. The old you that has been deemed in need of a resolution renovation has survived highs and lows, work demands, family feuds, love relationships, drunken nights, children’s needs, accidents, parties, frivolities, financial hardships, virus threats, disappointments, accusations, surprises and adventures. It has held you together alone in the dark, rejoiced with you after climbing the mountain tops and sat with you during times of grief, joy and meditation. Who convinced you needed to be more, or less or something else?

In our world of commercialism, we are constantly being told we are not enough.  We are not rich enough, spoilt enough or worthy enough if we don’t have the latest updated gadget, car or fashion accessory. We are told constantly we need to eat this to be that, don’t eat this to lose fat, buy this if you love your cat, if not ‘you are so last season darling!’ Gosh good thing no one is looking at my wardrobe or maybe they are because all I have is so last season, it’s practically last decade in some items and heading towards vintage in others.

The goal of every great marketing executive is to make you feel inadequate and fearful of the future, how else can they sell you antiaging cream and hair dye if you’re not afraid to let life and nature take its course. How can you possibly be seen in that dress when society has cloned itself in a new fashion, that with patience and personal experience I have seen trends come and go and return generations later like the resurgence of neon tie dye as a thing, along with flared jeans and scrunchies. There are of course ones that should never return like the socks and leather sandals wearing guy, he’s back but has replaced sandals with slides and steak and kidney pie or lambs fry (liver) as a family dish because it is good for your iron intake. Sadly, there are some trends that have gone that should be mandatory for life, high waisted jeans or at least above the ‘builders crack’ that covers the underwear has been replaced with the waistband of jocks in full view of children and the jeans buckled midthigh making the wearer walk like a cardboard cutout. How this edgy hip hop gangsta look of harlem America became the victim of ‘if some is good more is better’ to the point of ridiculous smacks of people’s desire to be part of something bigger than themselves regardless of whether it represents who they really are of if they even understand it.

Going into the new revolution around the sun doesn’t mean we need to upgrade our i-self to the next level. It means take stock, hold onto what works, tweak that which has run its course or needs some oil or TLC and maybe look at a full detail cut and polish, paint or wallpaper but if the bones are solid, stay solid to you because not everyone is going to think you’re gorgeous, amazing and magical. They’re wrong though, idiots.