I’ve Stopped Saying “This Year Will Be My Year”
Optimism is good, but I’m not sure it matters.
I don’t know the last time I ended the year, looked back on it and said, “That was truly wonderful.” What I’ve always said is that the next year was going to be better. No. The best. Epic. Life-changing.
I'm not doing that anymore.
Everyone is starting today out as the best year of their life. I think that’s beautiful and I wish that were true. Perhaps I’ve grown a little skeptical. Perhaps more realism has crept into me than I thought.
The fact remains that we are always chasing something better. Greatness is just around the corner. We set our expectations much higher than they ever need to be.
I remember sitting on the same spot on my couch as I am now, reflecting back on 2018. It was not a banner year. There were times I thought it would break me.
It was my first full year of singlehood following my divorce. I lost one job and started another. I was off the heels of spending my first Christmas alone, ever. I felt lost. I needed something to make me believe that things were going to be better. Enter New Year’s Day 2019.
I told myself 2019 was going to be my year. I woke up early and took myself to a local patio spot and ordered myself some brunch and a mimosa. I sat down with a brand new planner because we can’t possibly start our best year yet without expensive stationery we’ll abandon after 6 weeks.
I wrote goals for myself. I planned out the next couple of weeks. I started the day with so much hope and so much intention.
My year went off course early on. I don’t think I ever got it back on course but I managed to avoid hitting large icebergs and sinking the damn thing.
I could easily say this year has been horrible, marked by disappointment and loss. Anger, frustration, sadness, and struggle. In 2019, death took friends from me. I had my heart broken wide open in ways I never thought imaginable.
At times of reflection though, I think we tend to shut out ordinary but happy moments. Good times are easy to erase with more recent bad memories. There were good times, even some great times. I am far more fortunate than many.
We put too much pressure on ourselves at the beginning of the year that we are going to run the best race of our lives straight out of the gate. This isn’t always realistic. We don’t know what’s going to get in our way.
So, today, I’m not going to make a declaration of this is going to be my banner year. It’s going to be a year. Just like any other year. I’m going to survive it.
I’m not saying that to underplay the experience of living. I plan to live my life as well as I possibly can. The gift I’m giving myself, though, is relieving myself of the pressure to make this the most epic year I can have. I’m cutting myself some slack. I’m just going to do the best I can. Every day.