Sometimes I wonder why we wait so badly for a new year to start. We seem to believe that once the clock strikes midnight on December 31st, we can finally take a deep breath and leave everything behind, we can start fresh. But let’s be honest, this year is different. It will end in a couple of weeks and not much around us will change – we will still be in lockdown and we will still have to wear masks; no parties, no big New Year’s Eve dinners with friends-of-friends. Everything around us will look exactly the same. So, why do we want this year, in particular, to end so badly?
Forget the resolutions!
I bet most of us already made an endless list of New Year’s resolutions. Mine usually includes eating healthier (fast-food madness must stop if we want good-looking skin) and going to the gym – after all, it is close to home and exercising is good for the body. Some might add developing a particular hobby like origami or painting. These are all practical stuff that we could actually accomplish, and yet, often we don’t realize how much effort this would require. The truth is that most of us will end up quitting sooner or later. The most determined might be lucky enough to discover a new passion, something they will actually enjoy doing, and not only because they feel like it’s the right thing to do.
Another category is that of people believing in the “New Year, new me” resolution. Well, good luck to you all, I really hope you’ll be kinder to everyone and help people without expecting anything in return; I hope you can achieve all your goals and connect with your soul. However, I strongly believe that once the holidays are over, once work kicks in again, all these wonderful intentions will be forgotten. The wish and effort to get acquainted and improve ourselves will slowly fade away and soon we will be stuck in the usual routine all over again.
New Year’s magic
Because, most of the time, change doesn’t come from the outside, but it is within yourself. It has always been there, waiting for you to embrace it.
New Year’s Eve is one of those days where we wait with our mouths wide open for something magical to happen. We believe that something inside us will radically change at the stroke of midnight, making us a better version of ourselves. Let’s be realistic though, if we didn’t have a clock telling us a new year had come by, we wouldn’t even notice. I mean, we could decide to become better people on the 23rd of March and, perhaps, it would work even better. Because, most of the time, change doesn’t come from the outside, but it is within yourself. It has always been there, waiting for you to embrace it. And that – embracing change – is something we can entirely control.
To be honest, I think that, after all, this is all New Year’s Eve is about (exceptions made for partying and fireworks, which are not part of the picture this year). We should simply enjoy the time we have with our families and friends and try to make the best of it, realizing that hoping for change, will not make it happen.
Shall we start the New Year on July 11th?
However, we love stories, surrealistic ones above all. They allow us to escape that reality we sometimes consider too boring. They make us believe that we can be better, that we can do better. Stories make us dream. So, I don’t see why we should give them up. Surely, New Year’s Eve is just a convention that someone many years ago decided upon. Technically, it does not mean anything. Chinese people celebrate it on a completely different day, so nothing should stop me from celebrating New Year on May 17th.
Let’s say, for instance, that I don’t feel ready to leave 2020 behind me; after all, it has been one for the books. From now on, 2020 will be considered as the year of the global pandemic, students will study Covid-19 in class, maybe read a paragraph or two about it, and eventually move on, feeling like the pandemic it’s something so far away from their reality. But we will always have that paragraph, which is much better than just a line. Maybe not the best paragraph, but we all know that history books seem to have a thing for dark times. It will be talked about for a very long time, but for now, we still refer to it as the present.
I know that probably the last thing you all want is for this year to last even a second longer, but wouldn’t it make more sense to start a New Year when we truly feel ready for it? This is the resolution I will make, learning to wait. Wait for this whole pandemic to be over, because it will be, wait for campuses to be crowded again, wait until I will want to try a new sport or meet new people. This year has been hard but nothing tells us the next one won’t be harder, so let’s just take some time to truly leave everything behind. Let’s give ourselves time to be ready to accept change and live it to the fullest. Sadly, 2020 is not over yet, but this is not too bad after all. Twenty-twenty was the year of the ‘we are all in this together’ mindset, and we might still have something to learn.