New Year’s Resolutions 2021


After a nerve-wracking year, at least there’s one thing we don’t have to stress about –new year’s resolutions. Obviously, we can just use last year’s.

Although, having consulted that dusty list, all my resolutions for 2020 seem so abstemious – drink less alcohol; give up chocolate; do more exercise; get more sleep… After a year of furlough, social distancing, doomscrolling, self-isolation and lockdown, I feel inclined to take up, rather than give up vices, don’t you? One lesson COVID has taught us is to carpe diem like there’s no tomorrow. And let’s be honest, facing a future run by a generation who were home-schooled by alcoholics, we might as well enjoy ourselves while we can!

Top of my list is travel. Dreaded coronavirus limited all journeys to flights of fancy. But once the world gets vaccinated, my motto is “have globe, will trot.” My New Year’s resolution is to have adventure before dementia, starting with plans to scuba in Cuba, shark dive in the Galapagos and sky-dive over the Grand Canyon. I’ve also never tried Wingsuit BASE Jumping. Not that I really want to… But I so want the opportunity to at least chicken out at the last minute.

What other pledges for post Covid pleasures? Well, I’ve resolved to have a lot more sex. Lockdown proved about as erotic as the tracksuits we were slobbing around in. Elasticated waistbands are to foreplay what Trump is to veracity. I used to think ‘weaker sex’ referred to the male of the species, but it actually means the kind of sex you have when working from home. Weeks of monotonous lockdown, stressful home schooling and chore war resentment meant a slow drip sexual ennui set in across the nation. Lovemaking became more dutiful than enthusiastic. A news poll reported a 50% drop in close-encounters-of-the-carnal kind between couples. “Being creative in bed” meant knitting while watching Netflix.

Ask most couples whether they liked the lights on or off during the last year and they’d answer, “On” – but only so they could read their divorce papers. (Law firms report a 50% global rise in divorce enquiries.) As for ‘talking dirty’? During the Corona crisis we talk dirty all the time – ordering each other to wash our hands.

And it wasn’t much better for singles. Mandatory mask wearing limited flirting to a few frantic forehead manoeuvres while bowing heads for temperature checks; a case of wishful winking. And casual sex has become a thing of the past. Yep. Sex is now as formal as possible – blood tests, CVs, track and trace… Even if a hook-up miraculously happens, a Corona-sutra is required, advising which fleshy configurations are the least likely to cause contagion.

Mind you, COVID turned us all into hypochondriacs. If anyone denies this, then hypochondria is the only disease they don’t have. Most of us have forgotten what our partners look like without a thermometer wedged between their teeth. And it’s hard to stay aroused when your paramour stops at timed intervals to check his pulse and respiration rate and readjust anti-contamination gloves. Sex has become so reminiscent of a medical that, post-coitus, women half expect blokes to give them a jellybean for saying “Aaaargh.”

So, besides more sex and travel, what else is on my 2021 To Do list? Well, I’ve also resolved to drink a lot more alcohol. After the year we’ve had, why should humour be the only dry thing about us? Obviously I can’t wait to get a glitter ball graze on my nose during a mistimed pogo move on a disco dance floor then to wake up in an unfamiliar nation with nipple jewellery…But until state borders open and Check Point Charlies stop springing up on suburban bridges, there’s no option but to hook ourselves up intravenously to a wine bottle and drink as though carrying a spare liver around in our pockets at all times.

I’ve also resolved to eat more and exercise less. With gyms closed, I jogged so much during lockdown I developed radial toes. And what I’ve learnt is that a ‘fun run’ is a contradiction in terms. Traversing at speed over rough terrain, through rain and mud isn’t much like fun; no, it’s much like fleeing Islamic State over the Sinjar mountains. Even less enjoyable was trying to keep up with every livestreamed workout/yoga meditation/ sound bath etc. Those competitive Webinar Pilates classes gave me lycra rash on parts of my body primarily reserved for giving birth.

I also can’t wait to delete the pacer app on my mobile phone which tyrannizes me into reaching my 10,000 daily Sisyphean steps, walking endlessly to nowhere. What I want is a pacer which encourages me to walk on the wild side – “Come on Kath! You haven’t reached your daily quota of fun!”

It’s taken a lot of self-control and determination, but I’ve also resolved to give up dieting. The endless amount of meals we parents cooked during lockdown means the only time I ever want to bake again is when I fall asleep at the beach. With pantry stocks running low and long supermarket queues, my culinary attempts became more ‘quiz-uine’ than ‘cuisine’, as the family invariably had to guess what concoction I’d thrown together from random cans in the pantry. If undercooked I just called it “sushi” and if burnt, I just call it ‘Cajun’ or “Cordon Noir”. So, another top New Year’s resolution is to eat out every night. When you wish upon a Michelin Star, dreams really can come true.

And who cares about cost? Last year’s crinkled N.Y.’s list also included a resolution to save more money. But spend, spend, spend is my new mantra. With global recession looming, soon, if you write a cheque, the whole bank bounces. So why not hatch that nest egg now?

Yes, there are some things I’m vowing to give up. I whole-heartedly promise never, ever to zoom again. Over-zoomed and under-groomed has been the theme of lockdown, with all its mutemares – “I can’t hear you! Your VOLUME’S OFF!” The very thought of video conferencing now makes me suffer from a performance anxiety I haven’t felt since those hedonistic hours of enforced folk dancing in Primary school.

But my main New Year’s resolution is to eschew, forever more, FOMO. COVID has also taught us to see through those perfect Instagram posts in which Influencers constantly exceed their 100% recommended allowance of Smug. During this hair-raising Coronacoaster ride we’ve learnt to find happiness in small, real things – a hug from a friend you’ve missed; a cuppa with your mum; an early spring flower; finding a chocolate in the back of the cupboard during a night of desperation; cackling like kookaburras on a bush walk with siblings; the book of your enemy being remaindered…

So, I hope I’ve encouraged you to swap your pious New Year pledges for more exciting, fun and fabulous goals. Don’t become a dull dieter, or a teetotaling jogger or some other signed-up member of BoresRUs. An end to Spanish Flu horrors heralded the Roaring Twenties. In 2021 let’s resolve to follow in their frivolous footsteps and, once inoculated, carpe the hell out of diem.

I just can’t wait to breathe all over you on some dance floor, soonish.

Now tell me your New Year’s Resolutions. Love Kathy x

p.s. I can’t help but suggest an excellent New Year’s resolution – to read one of my best sellers, starting with “H.R.T. – Husband Replacement Therapy” “The Boy Who Fell to Earth”, “How to Kill Your Husband – and other handy household hints” and “To Love, Honour and Betray” have all been recently re-issued in Oz too by Penguin Random House. Must make a New Year’s Rez to stop dropping my own name… Let’s see how long that lasts!

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