A tock and a tick, in the time of a nick, a promise we pick…to which we never stick.
An arbitrary tick and a tock, and hey and pesto we have a new year. One that is supposed to miraculously change our outlook; our luck and also get rid of the COVID while we are at it.
Day 0 – it’s party time as we head to the nearest happening spaces, social distancing and all, brave the evening traffic, reach tables that have literarily been paid with an arm and possibly a leg thrown in…and countdown!
Day 1 – a mighty hangover, but new resolutions written down – promises made to oneself, and to others as well.
Day 2 – Most of the hangover is now gone, and well, so have most of our resolutions.
Day 365 – Rinse, and repeat.
How many times have we tried this, and failed miserably? What is this beautiful new day, that promises to take our troubles away, and rarely delivers?
If you look at it from a religious point of view – none of the religious texts mention this day. The Gregorian calendar in itself is a pretty arbitrary collection of days thrown into months, with poor February getting the short end of the stick. Yes, they did compensate him once in four years, but that was more like taking away two of your fingers and sticking one back once in a long while…not the same is it?
But it does make sense from the marketing point of view. Hotels and restaurants remained sold out, pandemic notwithstanding, and I strongly suspect that the virus also partook in this year’s celebrations – possibly making merry of the fact that it had a new strain to welcome. Nevertheless, the fireworks have now exhausted, and so have you. What next? Getting on with a mundane life once again?
A new year has within it, the promise of a new beginning. Not because of some heavenly intervention, but because of the potential within you to make it that way.
It serves as a marker…one that allows us to step back and look at how far we have come, and where we want to go. Our lives are so busy, that days seem to fly past, and we don’t have the time to take stock, as it were. A change in year forces us to do that – the calendar draws our attention to our own selves, and that in itself has quite some potential.
But why do we fail with our resolutions?
Hmmm. Mainly because they are designed to fail. If you haven’t quite exercised your whole life, resolving to get a six-pack is a bit rich isn’t it? A large part of our resolutions are leaps of faith, rather than being based on calculated effort. And leaps of faith are good, only if they have a credible base.
And that is what our resolutions lack – a base, a foundation. Made in the heat of the moment, a sudden charge of adrenaline, conjured up to impress oneself or someone else…it’s a small wonder that they fizzle out soon enough. Leaving us dejected, and feeling worthless.
And so let us begin a year with introspection. A KPI-based appraisal (we all love them, don’t we). A genuine assessment of how far we have come, with self-appreciation for even the smallest victories. And a look into the near future (no writing oneself a cheque for a million dollars please), with baby-steps for implementation, and most importantly, a strong foundation for our near-time goals (not vacay-goals).
You may still fall short. Don’t despair. Celebrate your victories, and work hard on the ones that missed their targets.
Constant self-improvement is key, regardless of the date on the calendar. Form habits, and not resolutions.
And celebrate new days, not just new years. Everyday is a chance to be thankful, given the (wonderful) year that we just came through. But that’s the point – WE CAME THROUGH. A bit scarred, but we made it. That, in itself, is a reason to cheer.
सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः
सर्वे सन्तु निरामयाः ।
सर्वे भद्राणि पश्यन्तु
मा कश्चिद्दुःखभाग्भवेत् ।
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥
Om Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah
Sarve Santu Niraamayaah |
Sarve Bhadraanni Pashyantu
Maa Kashcid-Duhkha-Bhaag-Bhavet |
Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih ||
OM! May all be happy, may all be free from illness and disease, may all see auspiciousness in their lives, may no one be subject to suffering…Om…let there be peace, let there be peace, let there be peace.
Wish you a very happy 2021!