The impending new year often forces us to focus on two things: beginnings and endings. As 2020 draws to a close, we’re all seeing plenty of “goodbye and good riddance” sentiments across social media, ceremoniously chucking this heart-wrenching year in the trash. We’re also seeing a lot of hopes, dreams, wishes, and optimism surrounding 2021. Though both reactions aren’t uncommon this time of year, they’ve certainly intensified from the garden variety “out with the old, in with the new” this December. The ending of 2020 has been more in line with “set the old ablaze and catapult it into the sun, embrace the promise of a fresh year and lay two-years-worth of hopes (plus widespread vaccination!) at 2021’s feet.”
It’s no secret that youRhere is a big believer in self-care and self-determination. No matter what your follow-through looks like, we think it’s great to wave a hearty farewell to the outgoing year and to set future goals for yourself—New Year’s Eve is kind-of the *prime* day to do so. However, at the end of this overall tumultuous, acrid year: we’d like to focus on the lovely, ever-present middle.
You’ve made it through this year. You did that. It’s another year under your belt and you’re pushing into yet another. This has been a time in your life, no matter your age. Though we’re currently (simultaneously) at the conclusion of 2020 and the start of 2021, we’re always in between, always at the precipice, always in the thick of things. Like Christmas, our birthday, the last day of school, and beyond; New Year’s Eve comes but once a year.
It’s so easy (and, arguably, awesome) to celebrate things that come once a year. But, as some say, life happens in the in-between. We get new jobs, we move to new locations, we laugh with our family, we cry with our friends, we play with our pets, we run to the grocery store. The vast majority of our lives happen outside these big events—and we often take this in-between for granted, or even dismiss it entirely. It was so easy to dismiss most of the in-between this year: I am exceedingly guilty for “just getting through the day/week/month.” I can’t even account for how many times I said, “I’d just like to get to [x month]—we’ll know *way* more about the virus/the job market/the travel restrictions then.” I don’t necessarily regret this way of thinking: it helped me to see a light (however wishful) at the end of the tunnel that assisted in keeping my mental health steady and working toward a goal. However, it also led to a lot of disappointment when we reached “x month” and things were either worse, or just as confusing. On the way, I steamrolled through an anniversary, our pets’ birthday, an unexpected (miracle) job offer for my fiancé, and countless in-between moments while I was “just trying” to get to the “other side.” Every once in a while, I’d catch our little family doing something simple and sweet—cooking together, watching a great old movie, taking a long walk—and I was able to soak it in. But the majority of those little moments were replaced with long discussions concerning “when we’re able to do things again.”
There was no right or wrong way to get through this year. That’s truly the case every year, but it’s especially important to remember that at the end of 2020. But, whether or not you celebrated many in-between moments or none at all this year, I think today, New Year’s Eve, is the perfect time to do so. Take a deep breath, look around you, feel your feelings—no matter what they are: positive or negative or a big mess of both—and rest, if but for a moment, in the in-between.
You did it; you got through this year. Write up those resolutions: or don’t. Have a metaphorical burn session of the passing year: or don’t. Whatever you choose, however you celebrate or mourn or “just” move through the day…
revel in that in-between.