If Christmas is the loveliest time of the year, what follows next is more a feeling of trepidation and concern.
So much so that I experienced my very own ‘Black Monday’ this week.
The timing of when Santa came down the chimney in 2014 meant that Monday was the first time I could probably check my bank balance. And boy did it not look good.
A problematic car meant I was still buying too many presents less than 48 hours before the big day. I was the stereotypical panic buyer.
But not just presents. To overindulge on festive food and drink, you need to buy big and plentiful. So my big food shop was bigger and better than ever and closely followed by two more ‘little shops’ including one on Christmas Eve when I was literally standing at the tills thinking ‘what have I just done?’.
With Boxing Day on a Friday and then the weekend, Monday gave me my first chance to assess the financial damage before uttering the words to my wife ‘honey I’ve done it again’.
You see this is a regular pattern in my life. Get paid before Christmas and then spend most of it on presents, food and drink before Auld Lang Syne is even sung.
Hibernation doesn’t come close to how my life is spent in January. Which brings me on to New Year resolutions.
Saving money and being less carefree, financially, is always high on the list. The fact that it is a constant among the resolutions proves that I haven’t quite cracked it yet.
But it is not the only aim that keeps recurring. Being the best dad and husband I can be, do my best at work, see more of my friends and family, improve my work-life balance. I could almost rip out the resolutions from last year, and the last few years come to think of it, and stick it into the first page of this year’s diary.
But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It might seem a bit obvious, perhaps unadventurous, but my resolutions will always be the same – because my priorities won’t change.
To show a bit more imagination, I hope to end 2015 a bit fitter than I start the year and I have downloaded a running app on my phone. I’ve taken the first step even if it ultimately starts and ends there.
Then there are the resolutions, nay the bucket list items, that you don’t even know about until they come along.
Before Christmas, I sang in a festive choir and randomly got to play Father Christmas at my son’s pre-school.
So while I will stick to my resolutions, they – and I – will also be open to new experiences.