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Why February should officially become our first month of the year

Opinion

Resolutions aside, we know nothing of any value happens before Australia Day – so let’s make it official, writes Rebecca Levingston

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Far out, it’s February. What the heck happened to January?

Australians have this weird stop-start month where most people are on holidays to begin the year. We go back to work in dribs and drabs, then have a public holiday, then the kids go back to school for a few days. Finally in February we officially start the year. Bang! Or bust.

Have you found your 2021 groove yet? I keep talking to people who can’t quite find their rhythm. Not exactly lost mojo, more trouble trying to get a handle on what kind of year this will be. 2021 hasn’t quite clicked into position.

The only thing that’s clicking for me is my knee. I have a dicky knee thanks to a bull at the Ekka. That’s a story for another time. My shoulder clicks too. And my neck. I’m officially rickety. Richard Fidler once told me that you know you’re getting old when you groan as you bend down. Maybe I’ve finally grown up?

So as we get older, do we get better at life? At making plans?

I don’t know anyone who was game enough to make resolutions this year.

I did, sort of. Ten days into the new year, I blearily decided I would go for a swim every day. That’s it. That was the extent of my grand personal ambition for this year. I aim to be capable of wading into water. It’s not even about laps, just sinking in and doing the occasional handstand. I like to set achievable goals.

In what might prove to be a necessary accessory in 2021, my friend immediately gave me a get-out clause for my feeble ambition.  She said on the days I failed to get in the pool, I could just blast myself with cold water in the shower. “That counts,” she said. 2021 might need to be the year of the back-up plan. The year it’s ok to settle for the substitute.

The United Nations have a dedicated theme for each year. Actually, sometimes they have a couple.

2020 was the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife. Tick! It was also the International Year of Plant Health. Judging by the boom in indoor plant fetishes, that prophecy was wildly accurate. Well done UN.

Curiously 2008 was the International Year of the Potato and I feel like that passed me by without appropriate recognition.

Since I’ve been for my daily dunk, I thought I’d check what the official plan is for 2021 according to the global oracle that is the United Nations.

There are four official themes for 2021.

2021 is the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables. OK.
2021 is the International Year for the Elimination of Child Labour. Good plan.
2021 is the International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development. Obviously.
And, finally, 2021 is the International Year of Peace and Trust. Well… the fourth goal might prove a challenge.

Coincidentally four is the number of underwater laps I can do in my pool on those days I’m feeling particularly ambitious. While we’re swimming about in the UN waters of change, Let’s look forward to what else we can expect in the future.

2022 is the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries.
2023 has no theme! Maybe you get to set your own?
2024 is the International Year of Camelids.

I had to Google (while you still can) Camelid. Surely it’s not the Year of the Camel, I thought. It is!

Camels, llamas, alpacas and a couple of other hoofed friends with a three-chambered stomach will have their time in the global spotlight. Quite frankly the year can’t come quickly enough.

The world’s only swimming camels are at risk of disappearing.

Something to contemplate while you find your rhythm in 2021.

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