OBUNGA: Go easy on resolutions for 2020

Monday May 18 2020

Some New Year resolutions. The problem comes in when we want to live ten years as if it is an hour. PHOTO| FILE| NATION MEDIA GROUP

A friend on Facebook shared a video last week of a pastor preaching about having ‘visited’ all the months of the year 2020.

The pastor in the undated video was claiming that having ‘looked’ at the whole year, he was convinced that 2020 was going to be a great year.

But it was the caption that was more interesting. It said ‘Huyu atafutwe achapwe ngoto’ At the beginning of every year, we look at days to come with optimism, the reason why we pen our resolutions.

Whether we post on social media, write in a personal diary, type as a sticky note on a personal computer or even engrave in the mind, we have plans we seek to accomplish through a year.

I sometimes wonder whether if anyone had seen what 2020 was going to turn out like, he or she would not have committed to making resolutions.


I have friends who were to graduate and were still not sure about it because the entire thing was shrouded in mystery about marks and a crippled databank.

There are probably those who had planned to take fiancés home to their parents. And they cannot tell who is ‘quarantining’ with him or her now.

Of course, there are those who had to cancel weddings even as others saw putting it off as a sign that it would never happen and went ahead to wed before a priest and an empty church.

There must be those who had decided it was time to build that house they had been inventorying it’s to-be-particulars each year and now are spending the savings on food, thanks to pay cuts and job losses.

But there’s another side to the story, always. There are those who are working on their resolutions, day by day. Good for them.

With the increasing number of cases in tens, perhaps there is coming a time when we will be talking of nothing but bereavements.

But we need not be that pessimistic. I mean about the plans we had made and how the pandemic have forced us to trash them.

Ambitions are good as they give us a purpose to live. Even though sometimes we become overambitious and land into frustrations when we cannot achieve what we had set, ambitions give us goals and from the goals we derive a sense of security and strength to live on another day.

The problem comes in when we want to live ten years as if it is an hour.

While the pandemic is terrible and no one wishes that it takes even a month longer, it is a good excuse for the rush that some of us might have found themselves in; a rush that would have led to something more terrible than failure to achieve our resolutions.

It is that time when we should think about when we next set our goals by having in mind that the future can be somehow unpredictable and that not everything has to be done (only) when it is scheduled.

For those who posted their resolutions on social media and are now feeling bad about it, well, there should not be any shame in it at all.

In any case, I bet such posts have been drowned in the sea of talk about people moving from one restaurant to another to order one sausage and two beers a whole afternoon, and the politics of betrayal.

At this time people have shifted their focus to what they have and the only few privileges available. How wonderful it could be if throughout we dedicated our time to thinking more about how we achieve things and not exactly what we achieve?

No one should actually be worried about having to postpone their resolutions.

If the pandemic is the reason your goal has to be pushed forward, that should be very much okay. And if you need a little push, find respite in the caption of one meme I came across on social media that stated, “I won’t add 2020 to my age because I never used it.”