Time draws nigh upon us for end-of-the-year lists, and to-do lists for the 2021 (in Before Times, this tally was generally called, ‘New Year’s Resolutions‘), but first we have to say good-fucking-bye to 2020 — which termination of said year coming slowly-way-quickly.
Best so far in this genre (great h/t to Miss Cellania):
1. The dumbest thing I ever bought was a 2020 planner.
2. 2019: Stay away from negative people.
2020: Stay away from positive people.
3. The world has turned upside down. Old folks are sneaking out of the house & their kids are yelling at them to stay indoors!
4. This morning I saw a neighbor talking to her cat. It was obvious she thought her cat understood her. I came to my house & told my dog…. We had a good laugh.
5. Every few days try your jeans on just to make sure they fit. Pajamas will have you believe all is well in the kingdom.
6. Does anyone know if we can take showers yet or should we just keep washing our hands?
7. I never thought the comment, “I wouldn’t touch him/her with a 6-foot pole” would become a national policy, yet here we are!
8. I need to practice social-distancing from the refrigerator.
9. I hope the weather is good tomorrow for my trip to the Backyard. I’m getting tired of the Living Room.
10. Never in a million years could I have imagined I would go up to a bank teller with a mask on and ask for money.
And we can start right there. However, after such a clusterfuck of a clusterfuck this coming-to-an-end 2020, supposedly it might be helpful to not make a ‘New Year’s Resolution” agenda, or at least soften the items to fit the shit-wagon most-likely ahead — resolution advice during a global pandemic from Dr. Sophie Lazarus, a psychologist at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, via C/Net yesterday morning:
“It’s probably more useful to look at what’s going on in our lives — and especially given everything that has been asked of us and all of the adaptation we’ve been doing in 2020 — if it’s a really good time to make a change,” says Dr. Lazarus.
If you decide that making some type of change is a good idea, then Dr. Lazarus suggests evaluating how big the change is and if that kind of change is actually reasonable and realistic right now.
“What we don’t want to do is set a really large sweeping kind of goal and resolution and not meet it and feel more stressed and discouraged,” she says.
Dr. Lazarus also says that people rarely do stick to New Year’s resolutions, even in a normal year.
“And this is an especially difficult year that we don’t really want to set ourselves up for that kind of disappointment and stress that makes it even harder to cope,” she says.
The stress and disappointment we sometimes place ourselves can be counterproductive.
“We sometimes think it’s going to help us get more done or be more productive or make this change we really want to make. I think it really tends to just increase our stress and make things worse,” says Dr. Lazarus.
“See if you can be a bit gentler with yourself or give yourself this same kind of grace that you might give to someone that you really love or care about who’s in a similarly challenging situation,” she says.
Also, instead of trying to focus on bad habits or fixing what’s wrong in your life, Dr. Lazarus suggests focusing on mindfulness and awareness, and releasing some of the self-criticism.
“So often in these times of stress, we tend to really focus on what’s wrong and what is unknown and what we need to worry about,” she says.
“But there are ways that we can kind of try to shift our perspective and even just being more attentive, aware and grateful for the things that are going well or that are stable.”
As the COVID-19 surges and body bags multiply, cut back on junk food, but just in small, backwards increments.
Just remember 2020 ends this Friday…
And remember, too, when shit ended happy:
Way-way-Before Times…and now…
(Illustration: Vincent van Gogh’s ‘Old Man in Sorrow (On the Threshold of Eternity)‘ found here).