Your book doesn’t have to start on the first of January

(by Ambre Pluta)

Every year, as December comes to an end, the last week seems frozen in time. It’s the stillness of winter and that of the end of the year, when nobody starts anything. Because why start now when the first of January will revolutionize everything? So many people seemed to think that 2021 would be a magic cure to Covid-19.

Every year, as midnight rings, there is – between hugs, kisses, and shouts of joy – the silent wait for this epiphany, this transformation of our inner selves. And on the first of January, when the first day of 2022 comes to an end, the realisation that nothing special happened, like every single year.

Two weeks later, on the fifteenth of January 2022, when I opened my curtains, the sun flooded my room. Everything was calm, and I could faintly hear the twitter of birds outside my window. As I stared at the streams of light that turned everything into gold, I felt happy. Not happy as in ecstatic. But happy as in feeling good. I was simply feeling good.

This moment felt like a reminder that life is surely amazing because of all the big incredible moments… But it’s also oh-so wonderful and magical because of those little things.  

Dancing alone in your room at midnight after submitting your essay just in time. The first sip of coffee in the morning. Hugging your friend that you haven’t seen in weeks. Music you love being played at the supermarket. A random dog asking to be petted as you’re walking in the park. Finally finding the name of the actress you’ve been wondering about for days. The bus driver waiting for you as they see you running with everything you have. The gentle pattering of the rain on your window as you snuggle under your duvet. Opening your curtain and the sun shining bright.

In every single one of those moments, you are happy. Not euphoric and feeling as if you’re touching life with the tips of your fingers… But happy and grasping life firmly with both hands.

This day wasn’t a big sudden epiphany of ‘this is the day for me to turn my life around’. It was simply a calm understanding that changing my appreciation of life and myself didn’t have to happen on the first of January. There wasn’t any need for a ‘new year, new me’ to do new things. Happiness and excitement for life came from the simplest things. It was just a matter of letting myself see and appreciate them.

New Year doesn’t mean everything is suddenly going to be different or better. Life is not going to be rid of all the terrible things that happened in 2021. New Year is the way we celebrate the passage of time. Changing your life happens when you decide to do new things and let yourself appreciate even the tiniest treasure found in everyday life.

Your book doesn’t have to start on the first of January.

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