There are two things you need to know about Danny. Firstly, he was a pessimist and he knew it. Nothing ever went right for him, or so it seemed. Secondly, he never made New Year’s resolutions, because what was the point? Sooner or later he’d mess up or fail to keep his promise and then he’d feel bad. Besides, he didn’t need to go on a diet, he didn’t smoke and so couldn’t give it up, and he’d already achieved things he wanted to do like get out of his overdraft and learn how to cook.
So, as you can imagine, it was
big surprise to Danny when, late one December, he felt convicted to begin a
list of things he wanted to see change in the New Year. He couldn’t even really
say where the idea came from, except that it didn’t feel like making a
resolution but more to do with challenging himself emotionally.
Look with hope, was the first thing he wrote on a blank piece of
paper he found in his desk. Again, he didn’t really know what that meant
either, but he knew he wanted to be more positive about the future. He almost followed
it with Don’t watch the news, seeing
as that was probably the quickest way to feeling depressed these days, but then
he realised that that itself was a negative sentiment, so he changed it to Find uplifting stories.
The next one came easily. Trust yourself. He realised that this
sounded like something you’d see on one of those posters with an eagle in
flight and a sunset in the background, but immediately he admonished himself
for being snide and told himself it didn’t matter what connotations it had as
long as it meant something to him. As Danny considered the phrase Trust yourself, he was confused because
it seemed to him that he trusted himself more than anyone else (other people
were always unreliable – no, don’t be negative; maybe Trust other people, should be the next one) but then, he supposed,
he didn’t really consider himself capable of many things, mostly only the
things he’d done before and succeeded at. So he agreed to challenge himself in
this way too.
Finally, just after he got in to
bed on New Year’s Eve, he added No
pressure, seriously. You’re not performing if no one is watching. Then he
stuck the piece of paper on the wall next to his bed and rolled over with a
smile on his face.