Following constant news reports predicting a grim outlook for this year, I dragged my guilt-ridden self out of bed at 8am just after Christmas to return a dress I bought in the Boxing Day sales. After all, I couldn't possibly afford it!
As I handed it over I felt anxious and said a quick prayer to myself: "dear God, as you know these are tough economic times, so rather than buying two dresses I have returned this one. Please can you ensure that it's hidden from all other eyes and reduced even more? I shall return in February, amen."
Not sure that this sort of request would make its way to the top of heaven's in-tray, but it's always worth a shot.
To be honest, I would rather the big boss upstairs focused on saving the planet from runaway climate change and ending global poverty ( not all in a year obviously). Securing us a divine stash of gold medals at the Olympics would also be pretty cool, and probably a much more attainable short-term goal than the former requests.
This year I've decided not to make any New Year's resolutions, except: to maintain optimism and focus on good things despite the gloomy economic forecast for 2012.
The Olympics is definitely something to be excited about, I've already started house party planning for key events. It's been a great way to take my mind off the fact that it's probably worth ditching the coffee on the way into work in the morning in order to tighten the purse strings - a small sacrifice really.
Then there's the extra Bank Holiday we get in June for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee to look forward to. Divine intervention to ensure that day is a scorcher would be perfect. There you go another reason to be optimistic, opportunity in abundance to see the Duchess of Cambridge, our favourite Royal, in lots of pretty outfits. Well if we can't buy them what's the harm in a bit of escapism?
Some of my friends have started this year looking for new jobs after being made redundant, perhaps some would say optimism should wane here, but no. The good news is we have been blessed with the gift of friendship. Yeah I know that sounds so American sit-comish however, there's nothing like girlfriend love and inappropriate giggling about shallow things to boost your spirit in tough times.
There's a scripture in the Bible that mentions laughter being as good as medicine, so actually I have a confession to make. I lied when I said I wasn't going to make any New Year's resolutions. I intend to laugh more, spend time with the people in my life that are most important to me, and irrespective of greedy bankers and failed economic policy, I'll still treat myself every once in a while, and so should you. That dress better still be there come pay day!