The Year We Never Saw Coming

As we wind down another year, a year I’m sure no one was anticipating when they clinked champagne glasses at the countdown to midnight, ringing in the year 2020. Celebrations erupted. It was 2020! The start of a new decade. 

There’s so much to be excited for when a new year begins. We wipe the slate clean from the previous year.  Tell ourselves we’ll do better. Right our mistakes. Change our ways, if that’s what’s needed.  The resolutions begin, and we jump into January ready to take on the new year with so much promise, so much hope.

And then Covid stops us in our tracks and changes everything. 

I thought I rang in the New Year in such a lame way. I was sick as hell. Spent the night on the couch, barely staying awake to watch the ball drop. Turns out,  being sick was the most accurate way to start the year that would be 2020.

I think about those whose lives were taken by Covid-19. What their New Year resolutions were? Did they have expectations or goals for 2020? A new job? A promotion? Getting pregnant? Becoming engaged? Getting married? Maybe someone had become a grandparent for the first time, and 2020 was going to be all about loving that new child and building memories with him/her. 

As I write this, the U.S confirmed death toll is 302,141 people. Those three hundred thousand people can no longer build memories with their loved ones, they have now become memories to their loved ones. 

No one can know for sure if those people wouldn’t have died of other reasons in 2020, but Covid made sure that they did. The horrific fact is, the dying is reportedly not even close to ending. The casualty predictions are dire. Vaccines have been approved, but many thousands will die before the vaccine becomes available to them. 

Two weeks ago, I recovered from my case of Covid-19. I was ashamed that I got it because it made me feel irresponsible when I thought I was being cautious. I’m not an anti-masker. I avoided large gatherings. But I still got it, and I can only hope I didn’t spread it to anyone else. My case was very mild. I’m lucky and grateful for that.  

As this disastrous year comes to an end, I hope for a new year of recovery, healing, and as much peace as we can achieve. 

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Here’s to Another Clean Slate

Here’s to another New Year. Another clean slate.  A time to put the bad, the regrettable, and all we may want to forget to the side and start anew. Fresh. A rebirth, if you will.

Although I’m not sure all those sentiments are possible, I think people need to believe that at the stroke of midnight on a specific night changes everything. When we pop the champagne, put on glitzy hats, blow our paper horns, kiss strangers, and celebrate into the wee hours of the next morning, we are toasting to an end.

Maybe the year concluded on a high-note for you and you salute good luck’s continuation. Or, possibly, you’re crossing your fingers for a shift in the universe that will be more favorable to you and the path 2016 sets you on.

Either case, each scenario comes with hope. That’s what the New Year does. It gives us hope.

“Here’s to a year of better health!”

“Here’s to a year of much happiness and success!”

The month of January is the beginning of a new you, if you want it. A month filled with promises to ourselves. For the next few weeks, gyms across the country will be crowded with new faces, forcing not-so-subtle grumbles from regulars who now have to wait to use their favorite machine.

But no worries, regulars. Statistics show crowds will taper off after a couple weeks as the thrill of setting promising resolutions mixed with the excitement of a “new you” to go along with the “new year” meets reality.

And most of the time reality bites (one of my fave movies!).

The simple fact may be if you hated going to the gym in 2015, you will most likely hate going just as much in 2016.

And that’s okay.

I hate the gym, too. I’m a homebody who prefers to do as many activities as I can without leaving my house. This includes exercising. I have workout tapes, a yoga mat, a treadmill I resolve to fix some time this year, and a stationary bike I sometimes use.

I won’t make a resolution to go to a place I hate, but rather, I’ll change my intentions in the areas of my life that may need more dedication. I’ll ease myself gradually toward the changes in my life that need improving. But I’ll do it through meditation, not by guilt or external pressures.

It’s okay if on this third day of the new year resolutions may have already been broken.

Forgive yourself.

The truth is, we can give ourselves a clean slate any day we want. Every morning we wake we can sit silently with ourselves, and still our minds, and set goals, intentions, for each day.

We should celebrate each new day the way we do each new year.

 

 happy new year

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