Well, we went from December 31st to January 1st like any other regular day. We simply went from Friday to Saturday. Nothing changed, really. The coronavirus is still as vivacious and imposing as ever, winter is still thriving in my part of the world, the sun still rises from the east and sets in the west and bitcoin still goes up and down as frequently as a regular heartbeat. Basically, nothing changed.
Yet, psychologically, and effectively, if one looks at a calendar, we just finished one year, and we have started another. Apparently, we didn’t simply go from Friday to Saturday. Something more grandiose happened. Our collective mindset reminds us we are done with a year and starting another, as arbitrary as it sounds. It’s the way of the world, as it should be, I guess.
Personally, I have never put a lot of stock in the whole “new year, new resolution” thing. To come and think of it, I actually do not put any stock in “happy new week, happy new month, happy winter, spring, summer and fall” or any other arbitrary wishes social convention tells us to share. I understand wishing people well is the cornerstone of social convention but there is such a thing as too much.
Now, in the spirit of showing respect to the social norms that make sense, when someone says something to me, as in “happy week, month, etc.”, I will always say something back, as a courtesy. After all, being polite and showing decency are other pillars of social convention.
The other thing is we tend to wait for the beginning of a year to make new resolutions, as if we couldn’t make a new resolution on a goddamn random Thursday in the middle of April or October. New resolutions and change do not need an arbitrary date to start. You can start working out on a Wednesday, you can start reading at night, you can change your diet on a Saturday, go to church any day of the week, and so forth. We somehow need that new day or year to announce our resolutions, which is funny somehow.
Anyway, a new year has officially started. Will it be different from the previous one? Two answers; yes and no. Some things will be the same and others will change, as every year before and every year after this one. The more things change, the more they stay the same, right? I guess there is some truth to that saying.
I know one thing; this new year will be full of joy and pain. Do you know how I know that? Well, I know it from experience. Every year that has gone by, I received some good and bad news. I was happy and sad. I had some victories and lots of defeats. I laughed and I cried. I gained and I lost people. I made and lost money. The list could go on for days, proving once again this weird duality about life. So, this new year will bring its weight in pain and joy. That is inevitable.
I was told that my outlook on the new year was bleak, pessimistic, negative, joyless even. I never knew that accepting the hard part of life was synonymous with pessimism or negativity. Ok, let me be as fucking blunt as possible; in 2022, people will die. People you care about will get hurt, a few will die, others will go through tough times, they will have mental and physical issues, money trouble, divorces, some will get fired, and so on.
And guess what? In 2022, people will be born, others will escape death. People you know and love will get new jobs. People will graduate, get new money, succeed in a myriad of ways. Some will get healthier, better, and find a pathway that will allow them to live better lives. People will give birth, lives will be saved, and so on.
Do you see the duality? It’s there. It never stops. It never sleeps. That’s how life is. I am talking about the new year because we have collectively agreed to use January 1st as a starting point. You could always sit down on December 31st of this year and do the accounting tables. You will see that you will have lost and gained people, and stuff. It is inevitable. I don’t wish it but that’s how it will go. I guess you can’t stop life from being …life.
So, here is what I wish you, because I must wish you something, as social convention dictates! I wish you to rejoice in those moments of pure happiness. And I wish you to find the strength, the fortitude to go through the tough moments you will undoubtedly face. I wish you to embrace the happiness and to accept the pain. I wish you to live through the happiness without second-guessing anything and without expecting stuff to go bad. Live in the moment. If you are having fun, enjoy it, do not overthink it.
I wish you to find a strong and reliable support system for when things go bad, because they will go bad. I wish you to find solace in prayers or meditation or hanging out with people or by yourself if solitude helps you. I wish you to find the strength to accept there are so many things you cannot control. I wish you to find the courage to talk to people when things aren’t going well. I wish you to find the strength to accept that certain things, such as death, are inevitable.
In the end, the way I see it, if you want to live in harmony with the world, you must accept that life has its share of good and bad things. It’s inevitable. I guess the sooner you accept that, the better off you will be.
Just one man’s opinion
Now smile and go on with your day!