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“What the New Year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the New Year.”

-Vern McLellan

 The dawn of the New Year means different things to different people.

For some people, as the New Year approaches, there is always the anticipation of what the year has in store for them. These are the eternal optimists, who hanker after new beginnings and a fresh start. Regardless of the year gone by, they look forward to a clean slate and renewal of their hopes.

Their positivity and buoyancy may run out of steam pretty fast but come another New Year, they would be there cheering on the sidelines, the harbingers heralding in the fresh start.

Humanity in general is indebted to this lot; without their perpetual optimism and faith, the spirit of New Year celebrations would wane for sure. It is their assured expectations of the New Year, their steadfast mantra that tomorrow would dawn brighter than ever, that makes the festive spirit so lively and infectious.

We have very little to worry about this crowd; they may not be the realists but definitely they are the ones who keep the world spinning and spreading good cheer in its wake.

On the other hand, with everything having its yin and yang aspects, there is definitely another group on the complete opposite side of the spectrum. This lot live in apprehension of what the New Year is going to bring.

Hardly has the countdown finished, when their hopes for the New Year falter.  For some of them even before the last spark of the festive fireworks hits the ground, the anticipation soon turns into anxiety.  The celebrations quieten down but the voices of their disquiet continue.

Their crippling fears emanate not from the unknown nature of the New Year but from their known letdowns and disillusionments of the past year.  The year gone by is not the glorified sum of all its parts but only a blinkered version of the glossier highlights to them; the result being a year not well-spent. What if the coming year too speeds them by, leaving them with very little to remember and commemorate? What would they have to show for another year in terms of their living or their accomplishments?

It is perhaps the biblical parable of the talents all over again but why place such stringent expectations on oneself? Perhaps self-acceptance and not self-criticism is the key!

Not all of us can aspire to truly belong to the first group, but we can surely spare ourselves the despair of the latter. Perhaps the light bulb moment for most of us should be that a year need not be measured only by its zeniths. If a year had no alarming troughs or resonating ripples, isn’t that a blessing in itself?

Not all plans come to fruition but the fact that we are still around to greet another New Year with our near and dear ones in good health and wellbeing is a celebration in itself!

To the New Year and to us!

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