I’ve been in two minds about how to approach today’s post. My initial plan was to write a chirpy up-beat post about New Year’s resolutions, talk about mine, mingle in a bit of talk of SMART targets (yes, that’s for you, all you educationalists out there) and wish everybody the most brilliant of all years to come. Done.

The trouble is, I’ve always found New Year a very difficult time. More often than not I spend those few minutes around midnight crying, rather than roaring “HAPPY NEW YEAR!!” in people’s faces, and allowing bleary beer-soaked revellers to kiss me. And not because I’m drunk.

So why so glum of a New Year? I’m not all that good at major celebrations, full stop. I know how much birthday and Christmas celebrations mean to people, and I am heartily jealous of those who can fling themselves into the seasonal mêlée with abandon. There’s rarely much to be gained from publicly airing your discomfort, so I’ve made a habit over the years of getting as involved as I can, and staying quiet about the stupid stuff rolling around inside my head.

At New Year we tend to look back over the year, remember the good times, mourn for the bad times, and move on. I like the idea of a celebration of moving forward, onwards and upwards, but I do find it very difficult to get my brain to behave, and think positively. In my pessimistic mind-set, New Year marks the point where all those past events, emotions and experiences are sealed forever in the past, with no hope of redemption, and I cry for the dashed hopes of the year gone by, remembering how eagerly we all wanted better times a year ago.

Actually, though, 2011 has turned out to be a pretty marvellous year for me, so perhaps I need to ditch my usual ‘glass half empty’ attitude and embrace the New Year celebrations for what they are – a time to celebrate survival, growth, and the ability of human beings to bounce back from even the hardest situations.

In terms of my transition, 2012 is a year full of hope – In March I will have been on testosterone for a year, and it is during this coming year that my appearance will become more and more masculine – leading, I hope, to less social discomfort. I don’t hope or wish for anything more than that for my transition this year.

I do have some specific New Year’s resolutions, but rather than list them, I would prefer to offer you a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson, which sums up the thinking behind the resolutions I have made this year:

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us”.

As for tonight’s celebrations, I will be spending the evening with my partner and her best friend – two of the best people I can think of with whom to bid 2011 a farewell. There’s a bottle of vodka in the freezer, and a bottle of something sticky, purple and alcoholic in the fridge. Forward, onwards and upwards, and hopefully this year I won’t cry.

Wishing everybody the most brilliant of all years to come.