Well, hello again, New Year. How are you here already? Clearly 2014 canceled a few months because it went by faster than what Einstein would find legal. I was hoping for a little more quality time with 2014 but here you are, 2015, staring at me with your arms crossed in expectation.
Your first day is always so intimidating; it’s seductive in its freshness yet melancholy in its retrospect. You make me paraphrase John Lennon while humming this with only minor heart palpitations:
So this is 2015 and what have you done?
Another year over, and a new one just begun.
Today is the most overt line in the sand you get. It’s an undeniable request to look at that line, to examine the sand, to see if there are any amendments you would like made.
Today also tends to make you feel like a loser. You can’t help but remember this time last year and all the stuff you said you were going to do, the long list that remains unchecked. Your palms get sweatier, the tick of the clock gets louder, and the unfinished list gets shoutier.
There is a phrase called the “normative power of the actual” which essentially says that whatever exists, seems right. It is used most often in the context of legal precedence and how that which is law generates a sense that it should be law, that it’s correct because we’re used to it.
As part of the human experience, we are all too familiar with this concept. Whatever way we are living seems right. We are creatures of routine and comfort. Our habits are carved slowly like grooves on a vinyl record. We go round and round, the grooves getting deeper, their paths more permanent.
The song your vinyl makes sounds fine to you because it’s the background music of your life. It’s soothing because you know it. It seems right because it exists. But, it’s hard to truly hear your music when you are the one making it. Maybe the grooves you carved don’t suit you anymore. Maybe you really want to play a different song. Maybe smooth jazz should be out and hip-hop should be in. Days like today help you stop and really listen.
I’ve been waiting to do a lot of things my entire life. I suffered from a common affliction I call the mañana factor: “Mañana (tomorrow) I’ll do that, it doesn’t feel right today.” For years I waited for so many things. I justified the inaction because I was “waiting” therefore it felt out of my hands. I wasn’t ready, the time wasn’t right, it seems hard, so-and-so has to do this-and-that first, blah blah blah.
What I finally realized was I was waiting for me. Just me. I was the only piece missing. I was waiting for me to show up to break free of the normative power of my actual. It finally registered that life is entirely up to me, no one else can get me the life I want, and no one else can make my grooves. That is the harsh reality of growing up. I am responsible for everything that happens or doesn’t happen to me; no one else gets credit or blame.
We all need to remember that life is happening now. Like, right NOW now. The more you delay, the deeper the grooves in your vinyl record. You only get this one record so make it play the song you want, the music you deserve, the life that is you.
So, let’s say goodbye to 2014. Let’s do it with pride and with respect. Let’s remember all the things we did last year that made us wonderful. Let’s think of all the things we want to do this year to make us even more wonderful. Let’s try to forget we probably had a very similar list last year. And, let’s really do it this time. Go Team!
Here are a few motivations that may induce helpful panic attacks:
And one final quote that seems to contradict the last quote, but actually it doesn’t at all. I’ll leave it up to you to decipher them:
Happy New Year, lovies!
Things They Forgot to Mention:
A new year isn’t entirely new. It takes with it all of the years before. But you don’t have to take it all with you. Your new year is waiting for you to show up and tell it where to go.
Sign up for my cool mailing list!
This MailChimp shortcode is now deprecated. Please insert the new shortcode to display this form.