The cliché question of; what’s your favorite holiday”, has always thrown me for a loop. Sure, there is Valentine’s Day or Christmas, but when I tell people New Year’s Day, they are little confused, let me explain. There is something special about the new year, there is a sense of rebirth, of restart, it’s a good a feeling. “This is my year” …” New year, new me” … “This going to be our/my year.”
Those are all fine and well but decipher those, decipher those little statements and what is behind them; Hope and optimism. Now mind you, I have never really been a big fan of staying till midnight, I try to be a very scheduled person, not in an anal-retentive sort of way, but my body just feels better when I follow a routine. I worked at a coffee shop with my sister in my S6 vacation. I would always have to be at work on New Year`s day morning, 4am to be exact. And that was always a little rough on the system.
I have fond memories of people who were still awake from the previous day, maybe nursing hangover. However, behind all those tired sleepy faces was a glimmer of hope and happiness. Isn’t that what we all truly want out of life? Just a chance of having it all? I have always been a fan of being the first one awake when camping in the woods, or even staying in a cabin, the coffee is hot, the mornings are crisp and the world for a few moments is silent. You might hear the telltale signs of wildlife skittering around in the morning because we know those little creatures have been up for hours.
This to me is New Year`s morning, new year is the grander scale of the daily morning about waking up with coffee. There is something special about waking up, and it being a whole new year… even more so when a decade has passed. People are making resolutions to better themselves, they are making hopeful promises to others, when they should be making them for themselves and, while we all know that majority of resolutions falter but the idea is there for a fleeting moment.
“This is it; I’m going to do it.” That sheer optimism, the excitement of the challenge, of the possibility of lifestyle change is there. That’s what I love. The passion for change is there but as humans, we unfortunately revert back to our old routines, we are after all, creatures of habit. That’s the human part of us all. If you have and successful with a resolution…good on you. I commend you; weight loss, smoking, soberity, etc. those are great endeavors. Those are hard. Making decisions to cut out toxicity is a newer one over the last 10 years, that has led to heartbreaks, but overall, for the best.
The best resolutions are ones you do for yourself. To better you, to make you feel better about you. Sometimes that is cutting out things you love, people included. Hope and optimism are driving, factors for many things. This is how I have always chosen to live my lifetime, not into pity parties or wallowing in self-pity. It’s not me. I’m not sure if it’s a personality trait thing! I can’t help but have undying optimism for everything in life…. even things that are utter crap.
The last few years have been wonky to me but I never let it get me down. Yes, there were tears and shame and frustration but when I let all that overcome me, I always get out knowing there was light at the end. There was never a moment in which I felt like I would never rise above. That’s hope. That is what New Year’s Day reminds me of, that for a few days, a week, or a lifetime, the hope for change is there. The drive to make a change is there and while there are times, we can’t follow through all the time, that’s okay. It will hit you one day, maybe not even new year that you want to get back to that; weight loss, meal prepping or quitting smoking. It doesn’t have to happen when you plan it, I feel this is why resolutions fail.
We plan to make changes when everyone else does, we plan to be better alongside everyone else. Maybe it is easier, but maybe you aren’t one of those people who want to go with the grain, you truly can only commit to it when you are ready…you are in charge here. Life should never be a competition with other humans, you can only make the changes when you are ready.
It might come out of the blue, it might happen when you least expect it, and the victory will taste even sweeter when you know you are ready. So, take this new year, exhale 2022 and take a deep breath into 2023. Enjoy the peace the day will bring, the optimism that will be prevalent for about the next month. For me? I do dry January, no alcohol for all of January. I wouldn’t call it a resolution; I call it a body reboot.
Most of my boozy habits are October through December, so this gives my body a needed break from the holidays. Whatever new year means to you; I hope it is full of happiness. Remember the optimism doesn’t have to fade as the month progress… its always there, lying dormant until you need that pick me up. Cheers. Happy New year.
- Joan Atuhwera is a Business Administration Graduate, a Human Rights activist and writer with over five years’ experience in pursuing justice for others via her keyboard. She can also be reached via email: [email protected] or WhatsApp +256774334595
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