I’ve come to realise that I have a bad habit of attaching significance to things that aren’t all that significant. A prime example is New Year’s. I mean, I guess a lot of other people attach a whole lot of unwarranted significance to the passing from one year to the next, but it’s just the easiest example.
Yeah, maybe it’s a good time to stop and take stock of our lives because a lot of people are on holidays from work, and have a bit more time; so, yes, maybe it’s when people re-evaluate their life choices, their life position and make some resolutions to fix things or make things better. But you could do that any time… What about all the other public holidays?
For some reason, the end of 2017 gave me this weird sense of urgency, as if I needed to get all my pieces in place before some time bomb went off.
But I rarely (if ever?) take time off over Christmas and New Year’s. (People need medication over the festive season as much as they do any other day of the year. In fact, with all the public holidays, we get busier. Well, my department does, anyway.) I haven’t had time to really reflect on what needs fixing – what went well, what went badly. It did, however, occur to me that maybe I should resolve to do less in 2018.
Last year, I decided I would fix my sleep – that is, get more sleep – but that didn’t happen. If anything, it got worse. But at least it hasn’t made me more tired.
I haven’t started a daily caffeine habit; I’ve just been having Milo every morning.
Anyway, I don’t need to make resolutions for New Year’s. I make them all year round. The significance I attach to NYE is that it’s an ending, a closing of a chapter. I find myself thinking about what I should do to mark the end of the year, and how I should spend the first day of the new year, as if that’s going to set the tone for the next 364 days after it.
But it won’t. I could sleep all day on January 1, but that alone doesn’t mean I’m going to get any more sleep on any other day/night for the rest of the year.
I don’t even remember what I did on January 1 last year. I probably forgot after the first week. And yet, my mind likes to pretend there’s something significant about it all.
Maybe there is…
I realise this sounds awfully pessimistic (especially for me, since I’ve been known to be relentlessly optimistic at times) but maybe it’s just exhaustion coming through in cynicism.
Since before Christmas, I was thinking about writing something to summarise the year that was, and give some groundwork for the year to come, but I always decided against it, or simply didn’t have time to sit down and write it properly.
And even today, I was thinking I should get a post ready for this week, but it was daunting to think that it will be my first post for the year – I didn’t want to write some nonsense piece for my first post of 2018. And then I realised this was me attaching unwarranted significance to things. What does it matter if the first post I write this year is nonsense?
For someone who’s generally quite logical and practical, I get weirdly superstitious like this.
Of course, there’s always the possibility that I don’t really know myself as well as I have myself believe. (Does that even make sense?)