Happy New Year!
I didn’t make any New Year Resolutions. I never do, because I don’t think it’s a good idea to wait until a certain date to resolve to do something. I either want to do it, or I don’t. If I do, I start there and then, if not, nothing short of the promise of millions of dollars, world peace or freeing all the detainees from detention centres will make me do it, so why bother? I believe, I suppose, in building on success, so failed resolve after failed resolve isn’t helpful.
Which is why I was surprised to hear myself asking my son this question yesterday;
“Now you’ve got your uni offer, are you still going to take a gap year?”
He looked at me as if I was deranged, which was a bit scary for two reasons. Firstly because I do sometimes worry that I am, but I don’t want it confirmed by anyone else, and secondly because he was driving and should have been looking at the road.
“Of course I am.”
Had I thought before I opened my mouth, I would have known his answer. He has been talking about this gap year for months. It had been the beacon to which he has been trudging all through his last year at school and the exams he had to take. The thought of leaving school and working for a few months to earn enough to take off on his travels has been his constant companion. He had a job lined up as to start as soon as his exams were over, then he got another to earn a bit extra. His motivation to work (i.e. earn money) is far greater than his motivation to work at school ever was.
So why would I suddenly think that all this resolve would vanish just because he had another opportunity. An opportunity, I might add, that will still be open to him next year?
Do I think he can’t make a plan and stick with it? No, he’s proven time and again that he can.
So am I hoping that he didn’t really want to go overseas in the first place and was just saying it because he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do? To say Yes to that would not only be untrue, but derogatory; he is a young man who knows what he wants and how to get it.
Is this all about me, being left behind, being (I admit) slightly jealous that he has all this in front of him? I hope not. I like to think I’m better than that. I have travelled and relished every moment of every trip. I want him to have the same.
Was my question then just asking him to clarify and confirm his decision? I would like to think so, but the truth is, it was out of my mouth before I had a chance to think why I was asking it, and perhaps it doesn’t really matter why I asked. He is taking a gap year, he knows what he wants, and is resolved to do it. That’s good enough for me.
Now I have to find enough resolve to finish the current manuscript which has been patiently waiting for my attention over the festive season. I think I heard a little whistle from it the other day, the quietest of reminders that it needs an ending.