Honestly, I feel guilty just typing that sentence. I mean who doesn’t like New Years? — the glitz, the glamour, the excitement of a new year, the reflection on all the goodness of the last one.
And that’s just it.
While I am incredibly thankful to see a new year and incredibly thankful to have lived another, New Years brings a sense of dread and anxiety for me. Not excitement. I think it begins with all of the Christmas festivities being over, and then it rolls into January which is already a hard month for me. The anniversary of my Dad’s death is in that month, but also my Mom’s birthday which does bring me joy. It’s cold and and the sun sets so early. I honestly think I experience SAD (seasonal affective disorder). Anyone else out there? Then there is the pressure of meeting the goals you had for the year and if you didn’t, you start not feeling so good about yourself (at least I don’t). And then the pressure of setting goals for the upcoming year and maintaining them. All of that makes me want to crawl into a hole and not come out until March.
I also don’t look at a New Year and think about the exciting things that could come. I think about the sad things that may happen instead — loved ones I may lose, heartaches others may experience. And now not only am I thinking about this year, but now into the new decade too! How depressing is that??!
There also seems to be a deluge of reflective posts on social media. And they are all pretty spectacular. Everyone showing all the beautiful places they’ve visited, their accomplishments, their most loved moments — and all the while, all I can think about is how is that making others feel? Others who don’t have the opportunity to travel or who have lost loved ones or didn’t reach their goals. It just makes me sad. Which is exactly why I didn’t do a year in review this year. I am certainly not trying to discourage or shame anyone for sharing their happy moments from the past year. After all, that’s what social media is for — sharing, right? But I tend to over reflect and over think when I see others posts. I think of all my past experiences and they are exactly that – the past. And the spiral continues.
I miss the past and worry for the future. Maybe that’s because I’m getting older and my mom is getting older – maybe because I haven’t had children yet. But I do have a light at the end of this tunnel.
Once the celebration of New Years dies down and I realize it is just another day. I start to heal. I realize again that you have to take life one day at a time, not a year or a decade at a time. No one is granted tomorrow or the next breath, for that matter.
So, New Years for me eventually turns into a good thing. It just takes me a couple of weeks. It forces me to re-learn to be grateful for the moments that I have been given and for every new morning I have with my family and those I love. With that, one of my goals was to start a gratitude journal and so far writing down those little moments has really helped my perspective. And for that I am grateful.