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New Year, Slightly Different You

BY John Blase Journal Resilience

I’m not a fan of New Year’s resolutions, never have been. That doesn’t mean I don’t try and reflect back on the past year and reorient for the year ahead. But I hold such things very loosely. Yet as I flipped the calendar to 2021, I admit to a bit more serious pondering than usual. My gut tells me that’s due to growing older, but also the year we’ve all had with COVID. Everyone’s experience has been different, but it’s safe to say we’ve all been quarantined a little. And some of us a lot.

Now maybe you breezed through 2020 with few disruptions to your life. Lucky you. But maybe you, like me, have been on quite the strange timetable, living much of the year close to home simply because there was nowhere to go and nothing to do if you got there. Maybe you, like me, have had more than enough time to evaluate how you want to live going forward when our lives return to some semblance of normal.

I posed this question on Twitter the other day: “Any pre-pandemic way of living or
thinking or being that you definitely don't want to return to post-pandemic?” As you might imagine, I got responses all over the map, from “I’m much more aware of local businesses and the importance of supporting them” to “Spending time with people I don’t really want to spend time with” to “Saying YES to everything. I’m going to start saying NO more.”

So much New Year emphasis is uber aspirational, like “New Year, New You!” Well, I get the intended meaning, but c’mon, the reality is we’ve crossed over into 2021 the same old us. And while the word “new” is exciting and sexy, I’ll advocate for something a bit more sane—“slightly different.”

Now maybe 2021 will hold a completely new existence for you. Lucky you. But me? I’m going to do my best to make some small changes that just might add up to a slightly different me in 2021. I want to talk to the important people in my life every few days or so, like I did in 2020. And by talk, I mean on the phone so I can hear their voices, possibly even a Facetime call so I can see their beautiful faces, and they see mine. I also want to eat healthy and exercise regularly. Far too many people died in 2020 due to COVID, but many had existing health conditions which left them behind the eight ball when COVID came along. And as one of my Twitter friends said, I too want to “start saying NO more.” Whatever FOMO I may have had pre-pandemic has been tempered significantly. I still don’t want to miss out on things, but I’ve been reminded of the things that aren’t worth missing, and the things that are. Here’s to a New Year, Slightly Different Us!

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