I wanted to kick off 2021 by getting one of my contractually obligated philosophical posts out of the way.
Before we go too deep down the rabbit hole of how 2021 needs to be better than its predecessor, I wanted to point out that it isn’t fair to put so much pressure on the new year.
Trust me on this. I know from experience the extensive damage that can be caused by the weight of unattainable expectations.
Everyone expects 2021 to be the polar opposite of 2020, and I totally get the wishful thinking, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen.
Pinning a new calendar to the wall and flipping it to January is not the same as wiping the slate clean.
New Year’s Day is not like Opening Day of the baseball season. All of the previous season’s statistics don’t vanish. The players and teams don’t all start from scratch with exactly the same standings.
With that in mind, the Coronavirus hasn’t miraculously vanished simply because our planet has completed another journey around the sun. We can’t just go outside without wearing a mask, and head to a huge gathering to celebrate the new year.
The horrors of 2020 are still with us.
Did I immediately curse 2021 for not being any different from 2020?
Of course not. That wouldn’t be fair to the new year.
When I was growing up, and so much pressure was being put on me to achieve the goals others had set for me, I really did try to live up to those expectations. However, once I realized that what was being asked of me was unattainable and not what I wanted for myself, it began to have an adverse effect on me.
I lost faith in myself. My drive and ambition vanished. I thought myself a failure.
Even today, the scars from that experience are painful reminders of what will happen when too much pressure is applied.
So I’m going to give 2021 some space. I’m not going to expect anything special from this year. I’m certainly not going to project my wants and needs onto it.
What I might do, though, is try to make changes in my life that could lead me down a different path over the next twelve months.
For example, perhaps I won’t wallow in my broken heart. Maybe for a change, I will try to do something to rectify the situation, instead of sitting alone in the dark and muttering “Woe is me!” as I expect someone else to fix what’s wrong.
I’m not going to rely on 2021 to change my life. I’m going to change it myself…
Are you putting too much pressure on 2021 after your experiences in 2020?