Regular readers of this column may have gathered now that when it comes to holidays, I'm a devotee of the 'Bah, Humbug' Christmas tradition. Every year I get sucked into a whirling vortex of panicking people at a shopping centre at 5.55pm on Christmas Eve and emerge with a twelve pack of socks and last April's Easter Eggs to be shared out between visibly deflated family members.
Every year I decide that resolutions are useless for a variety of reasons, then halfheartedly try for a size 8 on the basis that I can't afford to go to Tesco anyway.
Not so this year. This year my loosely-termed resolution is to rearrange my boundaries. By the time you read this, I will be dead. Actually no, I won't, I'll be in Egypt on the first family holiday I've been on since I was sixteen (in Italy - all I remember is my father's face going puce outside the Duomo trying to control three teenage girls amongst all the swarthy Florentine brawn on Vespas and the unfortunate spaghetti-throwing incident that followed).
So, in the interest of family togetherness, breaking old boundaries and, er, gawking at disinterred mummies, I'll be eschewing January Sales for trips down the Nile, a monumental change in not only location but attitude. I'm set in my ways. I don't do sun. I don't do sightseeing. I get frustrated when I'm with my family in a confined space for an extended period of time. Especially if spaghetti is involved.
Sometimes a full and frank appraisal of the year is needed. Fully and frankly, if my 2009 was graded, I'd just about scrape a C. It started promisingly, with a job, a degree and a great boyfriend. 1 January was rung in with a bubble bath and a White Russian (the cocktail, not the man). Then it lost momentum and gradually petered out, eventually turning me into a hermit-like Howard Hughes figure with Kleenex boxes for shoes who constantly made excuses for herself and her woes.
I can't change my circumstances. However, my attitude could do with a bit of a tune-up. I needed reminding that agonising over an all-expenses paid sun holiday in January was a very foolish move when one considered that the alternative was shivering at home under twelve duvets without a sympathetic mommy on call.
There is never a good time for questioning your life choices, but if there was, surely the end of a year would be the most opportune. The most prevalent question at the moment for myself and many other people is a hard one: Was 2009 bad because of the recession, or because of me?