New Year New Me? Not So Much.

Closeup view of January 2020 page of a planner

I believe that the New Year is not only a chance to look towards the future, but also an opportunity to let go of what’s bothering us. In my case, that was old paperwork. Years ago, I’d gone through our filing cabinet and bagged outdated documents to sort through later. Those bags became breeding-grounds for dust mites.

Abusive low-paying jobs, a new marriage that was already suffering due to mental health problems, toxic “friends”, substance abuse relating to said “friends”, family issues, physical illness, housing problems, and financial troubles made my earlier years difficult. That paperwork was all from that time. As I went through everything, old feelings of hopelessness came back. Even one year of financial strife can echo for years. Our troubles lasted much longer.

That stress had physical effects. I was rarely home when we were renting, but the mold in the apartment still resulted in lung damage. The highest paying of my awful jobs had a wellness fair at one point, which included blood pressure screenings. When the nurse took my blood pressure, her eyes got wide and she asked if I felt ok. My blood pressure was up near heart-attack levels.

I am better now, and more rational, but I am still spiritual. That spirituality doesn’t manifest in religion, but in a belief that everything holds power. The paperwork had become a symbol of what holds me back. As I hauled bags to the recycling bin, I let go of what they represented. As I shredded the paperwork containing sensitive information, I envisioned those terrible things evaporating.

Does that make me a new person for 2020? No. What has changed in me is the ability to handle problems. The present is fleeting. Why not enjoy the pleasures of the moment while dealing with the troubles of the day?

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