Judging by social media over the last few days, 2016 was apparently the worst year in all of humanity. The rash of posts and tweets heralding New Year’s Eve as the end of all the ills that have befallen the world left me a little befuddled (which, admittedly, is not hard to do).
This symbolic adherence to New Years as the closing of one door and the opening of another has always struck me as a little contrived.
Maybe it’s because I have always marked the passing of time by the school year, not the calendar year.
Maybe it’s because New Year’s Eve always seemed to be the most overhyped and underwhelming of all holidays (except for the one where we got enagged of course).
Maybe it’s because so many people seem to put pressure on themselves to go to bed on New Year’s Eve and wake up a radically different person 8 hours later.
Maybe it’s because the turning of a calendar page doesn’t really change anything, except the date you write on a check.
New Year’s Day, after all, is not like Cinderella’s fairy godmother. It does not erase all of your sorrows or purge all of your sins.
A calendar year, after all, is nothing but an artificial construct. It is simply 365 days in a row.
And it seems silly to me to chalk up an entire year as good or bad just because there were moments that were…challenging.
If I were being lazy, I could easily say that 2016 was a hard year for me. A year in which I struggled, openly and vocally, with questions about my place in the world as I hit midlife.
About the challenges I face as a mother as my boys transition from little kids to adolescents.
About the sting that comes from being disappointed by friends you expected more from.
But if I allowed those doubts, those difficulties, those heartaches to color the whole of 2016, I would be trivializing all the good that happened too.
And when I think about it, when I really think, the good was so much bigger than the bad.
The truth is, every year, every month, every day is filled with disappointments and failures and heartbreaks. It is equally true that those very same years and months and days are also replete with joys and victories and happiness.
What if we stopped thinking in terms of years or months or weeks or even days and just took each moment for what it is?
What if we allowed ourselves to accept that every day is filled with varying combinations of good and bad moments? Then we wouldn’t have to throw out all the good ones with the bad when we flip the calendar page.
What if we just remembered that January 1st is nothing more than the day after December 31st?
We could simply accept each day as it comes and know that even on the bad ones, there is good to be had.
That every day is a chance to try again, to be better than we were yesterday.
And that as long as you choose to love hard, you’ll never feel the weight of regret.
Love hard friends. Happy New Year…
If you liked this story, subscribe to the LOP and never miss a post!