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I found a hair in my pizza yesterday.
At first, I didn’t care. But when I found a second one and a third one, I contacted the pizza place and informed them about the situation.
Although I couldn’t finish my pizza, I did choose a good movie to watch…but I didn’t. My son is going through the dreaded four-month sleep regression, so we had to visit him many times to soothe him, give him the pacifier, and to help him to roll to his side.
My morning today wasn’t so perfect either. My three dogs barked at the neighbor’s dog the moment when my son was falling asleep. He woke up from his nap crying and I had to soothe him while trying to bring the dogs back into the house.
My entire day was ruined. To be honest, I felt my entire year was ruined.
I was angry. I felt like yelling. I wanted to cry, but I didn’t.
I looked at the date and time and said “f*ck.” Today is the fifth of January. We’re five days into 2024 and look at me. I’m angry, fussy, and disappointed with myself. My first thought was that I couldn’t do this. It’s a new year, and a new year means a new me, right? Although I don’t like this mindset and I don’t believe in it (at least not anymore), I’m not sure why it crossed my mind.
I paused. I took a deep breath and reminded myself that time is an illusion—as the Buddhists would say. Calendars and clocks are created by man to better organize time. Why then, every single year, do we feel the urge to throw away the previous year and start over? Why do we set high expectations for ourselves that, most likely, we might not be able to meet?
A new year doesn’t mean a new me. A new year means that I should carry the old year with me wherever I go. I don’t want to let go of who “I was” and become someone I can’t possibly recognize. That was me today: angry, disappointed, fussy, and full of flaws. And guess what? That’s okay, even if it’s the fifth of January.
This is the problem with the mindset of “new year, new me.”
We keep splitting our growth into months. The moment when the clock hits midnight on New Year’s Eve, we instantly put behind us everything we have learned and worked for. That is so damn wrong. You are good enough right now.
We need to stop denying the mistakes and the experiences that have shaped us. We are who we are today because of what we’re trying to throw away. Imagine what we could become if we keep this very thing alive. Imagine if, every single day, we could acknowledge and accept who we truly are without fighting so hard to become “new” people.
We all want to make the new year better, I know. I understand the excitement and joy that January brings, but “starting over” doesn’t always work. We can’t keep walking into the new year as if nothing has happened the year before.
Please acknowledge how far you have come and honor it. On the first of January, pick up right where you left off.
Today might have been a mess, but it doesn’t mean that my year is ruined or that I should be disappointed with myself. I really don’t need to start over; I just need to love myself as I am, right here, right now.