January 22, 2021

The Byliner

The Worlds News

Because 2020 has been such a hard year

2 min read

This year of 2020 has been a year unlike any other.

Never before have I heard so many people say a version of “I can’t wait for the new year to start.” Of course we all realize that the idea of the “new year” is somewhat a fiction—yet it’s also a powerful symbol of renewal and possibility.

I know that I can’t wait to bid farewell to 2020.

One way to create the feeling of a fresh, clean start is to imagine a ritual of transition. How might you “Exorcise 2020?”

Elizabeth and I are going to discuss this suggestion on the Happier podcast, and would love to incorporate lots of ideas from listeners and readers. How might you create a concrete ritual to signify that one year is over and the new year has begun?

For instance, a friend told me that she planned to burn the sweatpants that she’s been wearing for six months straight. (Given that she lives in New York City, I’m not sure how exactly she’s going to burn a pair of sweatpants, but she does seem determined to find a way.)

If I still kept my beloved paper Filofax calendar, I think I might be tempted to shred my 2020 pages.

Another way to “Exorcise 2020” is to create a ritual to welcome the new year. A friend told me she plans to re-paint her home office at the end of December. She’s very tired of looking at its yellow walls, and a new color will mark the new year for her.

I love whimsy, and I’m a big believer in the power of concrete actions to shape our emotions and thoughts. With a ritual to “Exorcise 2020,” we can help ourselves look forward to the future with more energy and cheer.

I can’t wait to hear the imaginative solutions people dream up.

I’m thinking that I might try something involving flying wish paper—I do love flying wish paper. It’s satisfying to set fire to something, even something very small.

Post your ideas here in the comments, email me at podcast@gretchenubin.com, or share on social media by tagging me @gretchenrubin and using hashtag #Exorcise2020.

Elizabeth and I will discuss these ideas—and our own plans—in an upcoming episode of Happier. Stay tuned!

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