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2020 is not a deadline

2020 is not a deadline

People are pretty sentimental beings. We like giving meaning to ordinary things in order to make sense of the world around us. This is why we put special weight on the chronological markers keeping track of our tiny planet’s orbit around the sun. Every New Year, we rush into January with a flurry of promises and perceived potential. We tell ourselves as soon as the Earth’s revolution in our solar system completes another cycle, so will we. We hype ourselves into shedding all the negative aspects of our past revolution, waiting to catch better luck in our new, good-vibes-only gravitational pull. Unfortunately, life doesn’t work like that. 

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We tell ourselves as soon as the Earth’s revolution in our solar system completes another cycle, so will we.

Gravity can’t choose what it pulls down as much as we can’t control the kind of energy that can enter our lives at unexpected times. By trying to attract good-things-only we can also attract a heavy pressure to speed up change. Change that, normally, we’d need more time to achieve. This is why gym memberships go up 12% every January and slowly shed off by March. It’s why there are people who claim resolutions are pointless or joke about already resorting to old habits before the month ends. We forget to pace ourselves and forcibly steer our life in dramatic turns. We forget that even the Earth takes a whole year to get to where it needs to be.

Gravity can’t choose what it pulls down as much as we can’t control the kind of energy that can enter our lives at unexpected times.

While changing for the better is a constant practice all of us should aim for, obligating ourselves to cram our lives together collectively for an arbitrary reason can do more harm than good (unless that change we’re cramming is for climate justice, in which case let’s frikkin’ go people.) The start of a new decade is promising, with a whole new realm of possibilities. But, if you think about it, so was last year. And the year before that.

The start of a new decade is promising, with a whole new realm of possibilities. But, if you think about it, so was last year.

In fact, each day is just an invisible marker. The only thing stopping each of us from living a completely different life is a single decision. A single decision we can make at present, New Year be damned. So square your shoulders and straighten your gaze. 2020 is not a deadline, but if we want to steer our life in a new, steady orbit today will always be an opportunity for a fresh start.

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Art by Cathy Dizon

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