This is the time of year when many people struggle. Christmas is hard for those who are lonely and the New Year is even harder. It’s sad that people have to go through this every year, but I wonder if many more people suffer to a much lesser degree.
I am lucky. I have 2 children and a wife who love me, at least they say they do, and so I should be looking forward to the above 2 events with gusto and with positive anticipation. But I don’t. I do not like them at all and the same applies to Easter and Halloween as well. I like birthdays because they do not feel as though the whole world is joining in, but not the regularity and conformity of annual events that we all ‘celebrate’.
It is not the events themselves, but the fact that they occur each year without fail and that they feel largely the same regardless of who you are with or what you are doing. We meet up with family and friends and find ourselves thinking back to what has happened over the past year, and in my case I always feel as though I have not achieved enough. It’s a reminder of failings and my own self doubt that I would rather avoid.
Maybe it is a desire for something new to happen all of the time. I see people I work with take comfort in the mundane repetitiveness of their jobs. They don’t like change and would be happy with almost the exact same things happening every day. Of course this does not apply to everyone I work with, but I am in a place where the majority display that tendency to hide and be left to do nothing extraordinary every day.
Some of these people seemed to also enjoy their Christmas celebrations which sounded awfully dull to me, and this is what made me think about writing this piece. I don’t mean to sound like a miserable old sod, I am reasonably happy under the surface, but as I get older I become more aware of events that repeat every year and how they do not fundamentally change.
The desire for new things to happen often is likely not unusual. I try to speak to someone each day whom I have not spoken to before, I search out new reading material and I am always thinking of new projects that will be interesting and fulfilling. But ultimately I remain wondering why so many people enjoy the traditions we celebrate every year and why that does not bother them.
Happy New Year.
Thanks to Tom for the above video.