I am approaching the next year with sadness.
But not the type of sadness that can be labeled.
Not the type of sadness that most therapists would call depression.
It is not like that.
I know your sadness is not like that, either.
The type of sadness that I feel is not easily articulated in human words.
It feels like my whole body is crying. Not just my eyes.
It starts with being tired.
With the clock starting over again each morning.
With the fact that there is no break.
No wins between one day and the next.
Nobody is saying bravo for doing your best.
There is no candy hanging from the alarm clock.
Just you and another day asking for your striving. For your very best self.
Without anyone noticing.
You do so much, for very little.
So when this next year is about to begin, I look back at 2017 and I know you did your best but nobody noticed.
Nobody is jumping up and down with balloons.
There is no banner across the front door of your house welcoming you to the next year. Like a champion.
And you are. I am.
We are champions and nobody noticed.
We didn’t either.
But I know this for sure, you dreaded many mornings but you got up and tended to your responsibilities, regardless.
You found a way to smile at the neighbor who has no clue how you made it through another night.
Somehow, you got the trash out on time every week. I know right? Champion.
You paid the bills every single month. All 12 of them.
I also know you have done some extraordinary things, like pushed yourself out of your comfort zone at least once a week.
That is 52 times. Yup. A big number.
If you have young kids, you got them ready, dressed, and out of the house and to school at least 300 times give or take. That is staggering.
You cleaned your kitchen sink, and loaded the dishwasher maybe even 400 times.
I know you gave yourself pep talks also.
Told yourself to have hope.
Possibly over a thousand times. Incredible.
It has been a year full of miracles. That have not been witnessed. By anyone.
Did you think I was going to let you finish 2017 without saying something?
The dishwasher, the trash, the sink, the bills, the kids, the mornings, you made it through the nights and the 525,948 minutes this year you chose to carry on without complaining to anyone.
You are a champion. A true hero. A resilient mind.
Now that you know, how much you have really done in 2017 when you arrive in 2018 try and not be so hard on yourself.
Maybe let your kids go to school without brushing their hair once or twice.
Stay in bed for a day and call in sick at work.
I mean who is going to notice? Nobody.
Just like they did not notice everything else.
In my own sadness, and deep sorrow I learned something important this year.
That both my wins and struggles are lost on most people.
That the only way to live my life is the way that I choose, even if that seemingly ‘disappoints’ others.
Did you know that they will forget about your choices very quickly as everyone is busy living their own life.
I guess what I am really saying is make 2018 about you.
Strive to choose yourself like my friend James Altucher says in his book.
I know I am about to disappoint many people in 2018 but maybe this time next year I will not feel the sadness that I feel today.
Maybe the goal is to get away with doing less.
Maybe have a day in bed, instead of attending an important meeting.
Maybe even leave a bill unpaid and frame it.
Let them turn off the lights. And have a candle light dinner.
Send them the check next day. And have a good laugh about it.
The world won’t end. And nobody would notice.
After all, it is your adventure. And somehow we forgot that part. I certainly did.
Here’s to a year full of misbehaving. Dirty sinks. Pretend sick days.
And pep talks that have to do with reminding yourself that at the end of the day nobody will remember that you didn’t send out Christmas cards for two years in a row.
Guilty as charged.
Happy New Year,