It is the week after the days before > It is rare breed of person who likes the drab days between Christmas and the New Year. Hangovers to nurse, money spent, drab weather and little to look forward to apart from pointless sales. Even worse is all the bravado surrounding New Year’s resolutions. In fact there is a great Scrabble word for the fear of the New Year – it is neoannophobia.
This phobia is particularly acute among the elderly, who count off another year bringing them closer to the inevitable. The fear of being left behind is exacerbated by advancing digital technologies and inventions which are a no-go areas for analogue trained brain cells. After all, most of us pensioners are still puzzling over how to get the Betamax to work!
“That’s me all over,” said one of our silver-haired clients. “If it was not for my grandchildren nothing would work in my flat! But what really gets me down at this time of year is the expectation that I have to stay up until midnight for what is the ultimate non-event of the year. I now celebrate the New Year on Sydney time and then go to bed“.
As the saying goes … ‘Youth is when you are allowed to stay up late on New Year’s Eve – middle age is when you are forced to‘. Pensioners will empathise with this jaundice stance, while the younger will dismiss such people as being grouchy killjoys. All of which proves how the oldies are getting left behind by the march of time.
A Tonic therapist explained, “Instead of looking forward to the new year with hope and optimism, neoannophobes associate this last week of the year with fear and anxiety. They feel most at ease during spring and summer months, then anxiety starts to ramp up during the autumn and increase as the new year approaches. It needs a determined effort to break the cycle.”
But that is easier said than done if you are an elderly neoannophobiac. For starters forget making New Year’s resolutions as when they fail you will feel even worse. (Wise up – if your determination to make lifestyle changes did not happen a year ago, they will not happen on any 1st January).
Instead set out with humble ambitions such as spending time with positive people and watching feel-good TV programmes. Plan in time to do things you enjoy rather than what people expect you to do. So knit, read, walk and talk, taking pride in not knowing what drama is unravelling on the TV soaps, or why even Jeremy Kyle can’t work out whose baby it is. If you have to worry, ensure it is about things that matter in the real world.
The fact is 2019 will not be a social whirl of happiness or a bed of roses. Instead set out for it to be a time for you to spread a little happiness. What goes around comes around. And if your karma starts to sag, you know who to phone ….