How did you spend your New Year’s Eve? At a party with lots of people you barely knew? With lots of drinks, laughter and music? Kissing someone you loved at midnight?
Or did you stay home, alone, in your pj’s, not really caring what the rest of the world did to ring in 2019? Watching TV, perhaps some football games, or reading a book or listening to music?
Me? I stayed home. I had planned to go out, but after a rough morning at work, I came home and found myself quickly installed in my comfy pj’s, drinking more egg nog. I had no desire to go anywhere or do anything. So when my plans fell through, I almost danced a jig. I stayed up until 2:30 a.m. But I never watched one bursting shell of light or watched one twinkling crystal wrapped on a ball as it fell to mark the new year.
In short, I did what I do every night. Not much of anything.
In a way, it was really good. I binged watched a show on Netflix. I actually forgot about midnight until a couple friends texted me. “Oh yeah,” I thought. “It’s New Year’s Eve.”
I kept waiting for the inevitable feelings of doom and gloom to hit me. Sorrow. Loneliness. Self-Pity. But they didn’t come.
I slept until 11:30. Ate some cereal and sat down where I left off last night…on the couch in front of the TV. I looked around and realized nothing had changed in the few hours since “last year.”
It struck me. Nothing does change. We expect the New Year to start off with a literal and figurative bang and put undue pressure on ourselves to make things right. Or better. Or perfect.
And by January 7th, when it all has fallen apart, the pressure makes us crack. Suddenly, January becomes the worst month of the year. Depression sets in. The weather gets gloomy and cold, and sitting on the couch in front of the TV binge watching anything seems like a pretty good alternative to whatever plans we had on December 31/January 1.
I saw this meme and it cracked me up.
It’s so true! And you know what? It gives such great freedom. That’s right–FREEDOM! Once I stop putting so much pressure on myself to get my life “in order,” whatever that means, and I realize, hey…just keep doing the same thing as before, life starts to feel less like a pressure cooker and more like a familiar friend.
I don’t need to put everything on January. That month has enough to deal with on it’s own. Should I set goals? Sure, why not. But I don’t have to set them, achieve them and fulfill my deepest ambitions and dreams by January 31st.
So while I sit here on my couch, watching football and binge watching stupid shows on Netflix, I am ok with that. I will get up eventually. Just giving myself the permission to not do it in January has let me relax and enjoy the moment. And guess what? Here I sit, writing my blog. BAM! Take that, New Year’s Resolutions!
Happy New Year. Give yourself freedom.
Then go out and enjoy it.