I already hate you.
The New Year is supposed to be welcomed with open arms. A sense of renewal. Resolutions.
It’s a clean slate with which to start fresh and draw our own colorful story full of hearts and dollar signs. I keep scrawling “fuck you” on mine.
Coming back to work, even if that means a mere 30-foot commute downstairs to my office, is brutal. My sleep cycle is busted by days of doing nothing. My brain rusted from all of that alcohol and Candy Crush. My corporate “leggings” are tight from See’s Candy breakfasts and massive dinners involving marbled meats and melted cheese. I can’t string together sentences so I stick to responding to emails with either the “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” emojis.
That awful Monday following the holiday break, whether heading back to school (I still remember that awful feeling I had when I was a kid), to work, or normal life, is hard. Even if you can’t get your relatives out of your house fast enough, or spent the holidays alone, or are ready to just be done with it all, hitting re-set sucks. At least for me.
I was so out of sorts that I sabotaged the one thing I looked forward to doing that day: playing tennis at night. I misread an email and failing to book a court. It sent me into such a tail spin you would have thought someone torched all of my shoes.
I relayed this to one of my best friends.
“That’s Nothing” she said.
“Last night I couldn’t find my Volkswagen in the Safeway parking lot and called the police to report it stolen. Turns out I had driven our Honda, which was safely in the lot where I parked it. I had to explain this all to the cop who arrived on the scene. I was mortified.”
She had been sad and out of sorts because her kids had gone back to their respective college and post-college lives, and her husband back to work. The whole back to normal routine stuff.
We talked of how stress and depression leads us to forget things. Or misread things. Or lose things. Our minds included.
Last night I was finally back on the tennis court. Well, not exactly. I was my team’s “alternate”, meaning I had to haul my ass across town, in full garb, with 1% chance of playing. Even so, while sharing post-match wine with my victorious 40+ team-mates, we all shared how crappy we felt that week. To a person, no one was drinking the “It’s a New Year! Time to set goals! Blah blah fucking blah!” bullshit.
But we were there, pushing through. Which is all we can do. But when we do it together and have honest conversations about it – well, that’s pretty sweet. We all have those “calling the cops” incidents that we’d rather forget. Just don’t forget you’re not alone.
So go ahead and bring it, 2016.