Happy 2020, or Whatever

My Psychology teacher ignored the beginning and endings of chapters when he was lecturing. As soon as he finished preaching Chapter 1, he’d move right into Chapter 2, even if there were just 5 minutes left of class.

“What?!” he’d reply, with fake incredulousness, to the collective groan of the class. “We have 4 and a half minutes left. Let’s use them.”

People love demarcations. We love hard endings and new beginnings and we often put a lot of faith in them to change our lives:

This year will be different.
2020 is our year y’all.
Okay, next year, I’m going to do this for reals.

Great. If that’s what it takes to move you to action — dancing on a line that someone else created — then go for it.

But stop giving so much credit to the calendar.

Wedding anniversaries aren’t the only day to celebrate togetherness, Valentine’s day isn’t the only day to celebrate love, and birthdays aren’t the only day to celebrate life.

When we place so much emphasis on one square of the grid, when we color it in and draw little hearts around it, we’re in jeopardy of rendering the other squares blank, which is a tragedy since so much can happen on those days too.

Life-changing decisions can (and should!) be made every day of our lives. Celebrations can happen from minute to minute, not just during a 20-second countdown once a year.

In the classroom and in the world, we forget that we’re the ones authoring the rule book. We create our own time. We decide when to start and when to finish. And when to dance.

In committing to those precious moments of learning and transformation, it’s the content that matters, not the clock.