It’s that time of the year when everyone is talking about resolutions for change in their lives, and many are judging me for not giving a damn about the fuss. Don’t click away yet. This is not a rant or a pity party. It’s a genuine attempt to offer you an alternate perspective on all of this.
It’s easy to assume that I’m jaded for not feeling festive in the festive season, or for not counting down the seconds to the new year. But I’m not jaded. In fact, I’d like to argue that people who do celebrate such token events are in fact the jaded ones. No, really, read on before dismissing this.
There are two ways of considering what it means to be jaded. The first and more common view is someone that finds little reason to celebrate life. The other view suggests that it is someone that sticks to routine from fear of facing the unknown. I’m neither. But most of you are either one or both. Here’s why.
Routine is not only a daily thing. It’s any cycle that is fixed. So when you plan your life around these fixed cycles, you lose spontaneity, and you lose creativity, both of which are core to living with passion. So when you wait for an occasion to present itself before you celebrate life, you’re in a routine. You wait for birthdays before making someone feel special, or you wait for new year’s day before declaring your desire to improve your life.
What if you didn’t wait. What if you didn’t live long enough for the next occasion that you were planning to celebrate? What then? The unexpected gift, to others or to yourself, is far more intriguing and appreciated than the gift planned for a year in advance. The sense of entitlement and the sense of disappointment that goes with a specific occasion when it is celebrated or forgotten respectively, undermines good relationships, and wastes a good life.
The fact that the majority of celebrated occasions are simply token dates marked on a calendar without any substance further confirms its superficial nature. Go out of your way to break the routine and show your sincerity in a deliberate act of appreciation or gratitude, and not one prompted by a calendar reminder, and see how much deeper your connection with people will be.
Celebrate because you have privileges and options that you take for granted every other day. Celebrate because you felt heartened by an unexpected gesture or a sense of good fortune. Celebrate because you have excess that you can share with others. If you’re reading this, then celebrate because you have more than probably 60% of the world’s population.
Waiting for someone to give you permission to celebrate the good in your life is no different to waiting for a specific date before acknowledging the gift of someone in your life. Be spontaneous. Be sincere. Just don’t be shallow and follow the herd.
Who’s jaded now?