As the end of 2020 approached (that was just last week), it seemed that many people online were falling into the usual New Years nonsense trap. I don’t mean the usual suspects from New Year New You, Dry January, Veganuary, or whatever-you-got-anuary. I am, of course, referring to the belief that a particular dawn on a new day will herald magical changes that were previously unlikely. Get real. (I sold this piece to the editor as a bit of hope and inspiration. I’ll get there sometime, but I need to let off some steam first.)
2020 has been a challenge for all of us and I understand the natural joy of seeing the back. It’s over, you did it! But as early as 2021 there are already signs of a hangover in 2020. It is unrealistic to be unfair and unhealthy to believe that a New Year’s wand will bring us back to our lives before COVID 19. Nobody really knows what this year will bring, but you survived the challenges of last year and can certainly do it again.
I’ve already seen an article catchy titled “31 Self-Care Rituals To Prepare For A New Year”. Thirty-three things to do ?! Don’t start me The last thing everyone has to do is apply unnecessary pressure or think about new modes of suffering during difficult times. Instead, I would suggest that you relax a little. Sure, self-improvement is all well and good, but if it makes you feel worse, it’s a little pointless, isn’t it?
You may be wondering how did we get here again? Perhaps we will act together in our predictable ways, including ignoring the road blocking sign by driving on, and my all-time favorite being sitting in the cafe / pub / restaurant and ignoring the fire alarm by just speaking a little louder so we can keep going continuously. While many of us have changed our behavior to stay safe and protect others, it is pretty obvious that there are many of us who haven’t.
Even if our lifestyle is different, life goes on. Babies are born, birthdays and anniversaries are still happening. Weddings can take place, but no receptions are allowed during this lockdown. Big nephew # 1 was supposed to get married last year and is now on plan C after plans A and B failed so far. My dress for the big day has been hanging in the closet, but who knows if or when it will see the light of day.
Throughout all of this recent news, I have sought solace in the fact that at least the daylight hours are on the up. This seems like such a tiny, inconsequential piece of positivity, but believe me, these are the best. I am particularly interested in seeing the earlier sunrises as someone who wakes up at stupid clock. I’d rather see the promise of the sun than the blackness of the night sky. The little things will make all the difference, simplicity is key to keeping any new habit going. Just because it’s easy / free doesn’t mean it’s not worth it.
Another simple thing is to think about your happy places. I wanted to list mine to get you started, but then I realized that these are mostly coffee shops. Do you miss your vacation? Check out your favorite vacation photos that will make the very best memories. I can’t promise you won’t experience bittersweet regrets, but memories are priceless and always there for you.
Anyway, here, put your chin up! I can’t promise you that this will be your year, that 2021 will be the year that you will achieve your lifelong ambitions, but if you take small steps you never know. Every day is a brand new start in every way.
Photo by Pexels is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA
Lisa Wells is a disabled single parent who lives in a rural village in Co Down. Hardly anyone can pronounce the name and only the residents know how to find it. She’s been writing a blog about indoor living for a number of years.