Congratulations! We have just passed the same spot around the sun for the 2017th time since Jesus was born (approximately). We have all celebrated the start of a brand new year with new possibilities and experiences by blowing up chemicals in cardboard cases or at least looking at their mesmerizing explosions. This is it! This is a start of a new era!!
Or is it?
I love New Year’s Eve. Christmas is not really celebrated greatly in Russian culture*, but New Year is. The dressing up, the performances, the presents, the food – oh god, the food! I have been looking forward to the 31st of December every year for as long as I can remember. With the single exception of this year. Up until a week before, I thought I’d be spending New Year’s Eve with no place to sleep and kinda hanging around the centre of Breda**. Simply said: I was not looking forward to it at all. Of course, me being me, this made me rethink the whole concept of New Year.
For some reason, the 1st of January is often seen as wiping a clean slate and starting over. You congratulate everyone around you (literally everyone, for at least two weeks straight) and promise to better yourself according to the New Year resolutions made. Yet, these never seem to last longer than the first few days, until everyone returns back to their old patterns and habits.
No matter how bad we want to believe in this magical “fresh start”, the 1st of January is just a day as any other. A day (as the day before) filled with celebrations, yes, but a regular day nonetheless. Change isn’t made because the calendar said so. Change is made through motivation to improve oneself, and actions taken because of this. It’s really weird to see people act different for a short while because “new year means new me” and returning back to normal soon after. Yet, this is the first time I realized I acted exactly like that. Each January I get super optimistic, making lists and lists of things I am going to achieve or change. Unfortunately, pretty words on paper are all they remain. I forget them, or decide that on second thought it’s not all that important. Yet, one year later, I find myself writing down the exact same things.
So, are New Year’s resolutions bs or not? I think this greatly depends on your character and mindset. If you really want to improve and have the resolve to do so, all you have to do is start. I’m great at making plans, but more often than not these plans get buried under a pile of random stuff on my desk. If you really want to achieve something, this may not be the way to go haha. I doubt I’ll give up dreaming and planning after all, but I am going to work more actively towards my goals. Not just this year, but in general. That’s about the only resolution I have set myself.
Is the start of a new year such a big deal? Do you need to change and set new goals? Not really. We decide how important this moment is. Ultimately, it has no importance at all. It’s just a day with a bunch of parties all around the world. However, this just might be the moment you look back on next year, remembering how it helped creating the person you have become. New Year provides you with the opportunity to reflect. To set new goals and find new ways to improve yourself. You don’t have to make use of it, and basic New Year’s resolutions are nonsense. Improving yourself, however, has never failed to increase happiness. Any moment is a good moment to start. So why not now?
I wish you all good health, lots of love and a year filled with ups to remember and downs to help you grow. Happy 2017!
– Katrin –
* Side Note: For the (few or new) people unaware of this: I’m half Russian. KAPOW
** Luckily, some factors changed and I ended up celebrating at my mum’s with my brother and his girlfriend. Little fam quality time.