Today I saw tulips in a store and I didn’t buy them. Not a very eventful start of a blog post, I know, but hear me out if you want. It’s not that I don’t like tulips; I LOVE them, they are my favorite flower. However there is a particular day that I buy tulips and that day is January 1st. On the first day of each new year I go to the store and buy tulips to put in my kitchen. I then proceed to buy them pretty much every week until somewhere in march/april.
By now you might wonder where this is going? Here is the thing:
On the first of advent I fill my house with Christmas decorations and find it really cozy. A week later I still find it quite cozy. By the third of advent I add a Christmas tree to the mix, and also this adds to the coziness. But already around Christmas day, something starts to itch. All of the decorations are starting to feel in the way. My cat (yes, I got a cat! but that’s a story for another time) toys around with the ornaments in the tree and I regularly find traces of silver tinsel around the house. The gnomes and Christmas lamps start to gather dust. My house suddenly feels smaller and for each day that passes, my longing for space around me grows. It feels like my house has become a manifestation of how I feel inside myself around this time of the year: quite stuffed (and a bit dusty).
So much has happened this year. A big part of 2021 for me has been about regaining my health from Long Covid. Fortunately by August I was just well-enough to start working again. And since then I’ve hugely enjoyed…well, pretty much everything. Even the things I disliked before I’ve appreciated! Rides on the subway. Having a gazillion things to do in one day both at work and at home. Grocery shopping. It really is quite amazing, the shift that my experience of Long Covid has given me in my daily life: basically I feel gratitude for everything these days. Being able to breathe. Being able to walk. It just doesn’t go away: my immense appreciation for the ‘small things’ in life.
It has been intense and challenging for me, this entire year. As I know for so many other people as well. So now that the end of 2021 is approaching I notice that I long for a new start. To consciously say goodbye to the things that don’t serve me anymore and open up for new things in my life. Even though the ending of a calendar year is just another day/number, it still feels significant to me. So what I do is basically two things:
1. Reflect upon what I want to leave behind in 2021
2. Clear my house from all-things-Christmas on (latest!) the 31st of December
Some of the stuff I want to leave behind in 2021
– My attachment to Long Covid (I still too often identify with this condition in a way that does not feel beneficial/healthy to me)
– My attachment to certain people in my circles
– Listening to my inner critic (his name is Lennart and he still is a way too active part of my life)
And to also add something that’s not inside me:
– My current glasses (I’ve had the same pair for 4+ years now and long for a bit of a new look!)
I will write this down on a piece of paper, take it outside in my garden and burn it. Perhaps I’ll even take a glass of something sparkly with me, and listen to some music. I remember last year when I did the same thing, I listened to Elton John’s song I’m still standing. These lyrics seem fitting even this year!
And then, the magic day of January 1st will arrive. And I will go to my store and buy the most beautiful tulips I can find. Take them home to my Christmas-decoration-free-kitchen and enjoy the *** out of them! Because I can. Because I’m still alive. And because that’s what life is about for me: a mystery that is to be lived and enjoyed. Happy Holidays everyone!
With love ♥
Photo: Engin Akyurt – unsplash.com