January 1: Coming Up Roses

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Happy New Year. 

Truth be told, I struggled with the idea of what to write about New Year’s.

On the one hand, I love the idea of new beginnings. I like to think of starting over, setting new goals, and turning over a new leaf. And a huge part of me just likes the idea that the excesses and expectations of the December holidays are behind us, and we can focus on the tranquility of January.

It’s a brand new era. Everywhere we look, print and digital media remind us that it’s a time to start anew. These media proclaim, “New Year, New You!”

It’s a nice thought. Except.

You’re still the old you. And I can’t speak for you, but I’m pretty glad to still be the same me in 2015 as I was 24 hours ago in 2014. Waking up January 1 after some sort of involuntary midnight personality transplant would be like something out of a Twilight Zone episode.

But, being the same you means that you also have the same life circumstances. An arbitrary change in the calendar doesn’t erase all the problems going on inside and outside of your head.

Which means that it’s okay if you don’t instantly feel better because it’s a new year. It’s okay if you don’t feel like reinventing yourself or making goals or being a whole new you. It’s okay if your only resolution for 2015 is to survive.

And I do think that sometimes the best thing you can do in this epic quest toward survival is to bring in some tiny joys. It is in this spirit of tiny joys that I share with you my own personal New Year’s traditions.

You see, I originally hail from the town of Pasadena, California, home of the Rose Parade and the Rose Bowl game on New Year’s Day. So to me, New Year’s will always mean roses.

Screen Shot 2015-01-01 at 4.38.22 PMEven though I now live very far from the land where roses bloom on New Year’s Day, I celebrate my hometown roots by bringing roses into my home on New Year’s. They add some beauty to the bleakness of January, and they stand in such simple contrast to the excessive decoration just taken down after Christmas.

I wish I could give you roses, too. I know this small gesture wouldn’t solve all your problems—I’ve learned enough being on both sides of the depressed friend equation to know that there’s really nothing a friend can do to take away another friend’s depression. But I also know that a tiny caring gesture can go a long way.

But since I can’t give you flowers, I encourage you to buy yourself flowers. You can buy yourself flowers literally or metaphorically, depending on your preference. But the point is, do something nice for yourself. Establish a practice of being kind to yourself, even if it’s the only new habit you form for 2015.

I wish you a peaceful and hopeful 2015. Now go buy yourself flowers.

I did. IMG_5885

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