Stop With the Happy New Year and Make It A Snappy New Day

If there is one thing I’ve learned after 20 years of struggling with disordered eating and obesity it’s that I had to stop dealing with absolutes. I ate something “bad,” so the whole day is ruined. Might as well burn the house down.
We do this a lot in our lives. I suck at this, might as well quit or worse yet, not even try.
For the first time in my life, at 47 years old, weight loss is not at the center of my 2019 goals.  It feels weird but I’m counting my blessings that after all those years of hoping, trying and not giving up, I’ve found what works for me. The plan is to just keep going and building, growing and learning from here on.  Goodness knows I’ve only just begun.
I’ve only just begun.
However, as I see everyone’s new year posts (and even my own) about a crappy 2018 and goals for 2019, it makes me realize how arbitrary and absolute the year is. We use it as an excuse (or at least I did for decades) to delay our own self-care.
Often times one bad event in a given year can define the year, particularly for those who experience great loss and grief. This concept is valid, unavoidable and a year can scar us for life. We can hope for the future as sometimes that can feel that is all that we have.
But when you are feeling stuck in your ordinary, programmed life, you can get stuck. We realize yet another sucky year has gone by where we didn’t reach our goals. Even mid-year we can say, well its back to school, then fall break, then the holidays – might as well wait until next year.
Nope.  Just nope. Not anymore.
As I type this, I’m riding in the car with the hubs to our office and the sun is rising. What we fail to see is that every dang day we are all given a chance to make it a “snappy new day” to quote my neighbor, Fred Rogers.
Every. Day. NOT every year.
We all fall. Whether its diet, health, job, stress, relationships, addiction, etc. We are always given the gift of a new day.
If you know me, I’m not this rosy, Pollyanna type. At all. In fact, I feel my former self rolling my eyes at what I’m typing. I’m more of a “get that dirt off your shoulder” type and move on.  But almost to a fault where I put my head in the sand and choose to ignore things.
At the same time my lesson of not dealing in absolutes also made me realize I can’t pursue perfection.  I have to embrace that I’m going to screw up. It’s not that we fall down. We all will. How many times we fall down doesn’t even matter (cuz I fall a lot).
It’s how we get back up. And get back up. And get back up, until we are up more than we are down.
It’s having the faith in yourself to say, I’m going to try again today, not wait for a new year to get it right!?
What significance is there about January 1? I contend absolutely nothing.  My fellow savages and life warriors out there know it’s deciding to do better for yourself TODAY.
We all have our vice – food, cigarettes, alcohol, shopping, toxic relationships…insert yours here. But as I sit here and watch the sun rise, I ask you to ask yourself, what are you going to do to be good to you today? And are you going to keep trying every day to be your best? Or are you going to give up some random day, proclaim 2019 sucks and wait for 2020?
There is no significance about January 1. Don’t give a new year that power over you.
You have hundreds of opportunities in 2019 to keep trying, to persevere and get back up when you fall. The difference between me today vs. all those previous years is that I no longer wait for an arbitrary day to do better for myself.  I’ve learned to love and care for myself the best I can. To get rid of my super nasty and negative head talk…which is arguably one of the hardest things I’ve done. But I’ve also very intentionally surrounded myself with a new crowd of friends and coworkers that have similar goals and pursuits.  It matters because you’re around people who support your goals, not constantly question them.
When you learn to be nice to yourself, you also run out of excuses. In fact, I often don’t even wait for a new day. It’s time to get it right in that moment.  Life is made up in minutes and seconds.  We can change our trajectory right now.  It’s our choice, not the calendar’s. So let’s get rid of this all or nothing dealing with whole years as an absolute way of thinking. It’s an uphill climb, but that is what makes is worth it.  If it were easy, everyone would have it figured out.
I’ll quote one of my favorite humans to ever walk the earth, Fred Rogers, closing theme song to Mr. Rogers Neighborhood-
It’s such a good feeling
To know you’re alive.
It’s such a happy feeling:
You’re growing inside.
And when you wake up ready to say,
“I think I’ll make a snappy new day.”
It’s such a good feeling,
A very good feeling,
The feeling you know
You’re alive…
Peace out, friends.

As always – special shout outs to and for being those communities and partners who have made health a part of my life, my community, my friendships and not something I have to “do.”

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