A Blank New Canvas!

2023 is here. Another new year! Another new beginning! A blank new page to start writing once again. A new start where you can deliberately choose to start anew, forget all the painful chapters and write your story from a new start.

There was a time in my life when I had questions about the madness of the new year celebrations. For a year or two around that time, I did not even respond to the wishes on the social media. The fireworks, the holidays, and shopping sales all seemed irrelevant. I couldn’t understand what would change with a change in a number or a date. Life would continue the same, and we would move seamless into the next year, going at our pace, running the business of living. For a few days of course, we would put a wrong date (wherever required) and then after many mistakes, the new year would become a reflex.

A few years back we started this tradition of slowing down at the end of the year, taking time from our professional lives, and trying to be with the family. That time with family was a rejuvenation, a refreshing break from the monotony of work. That’s when the truth of the frenzy became relevant to me. We all are so engrossed in the business of so-called living that we tend to live at a spinal level. We forget to live, and these are moments and celebrations like these where one can pause and push the reset button. Each of us has a different way of unwinding though. For some, it may be alone, a me time, for others getting wild with their trusted pack of friends. Some like to relax with a book, some tend to binge watch, and some like partying. Whatever way you choose, the purpose should be to come back refreshed and not tired. This year my husband came over and we had a relaxing and a fun break. We followed no plan, cooked together, went on walks, played board games and just focused on creating memories until our next time together.

Post covid, new year celebrations have taken a new turn. There has always been a rush for viewing the fireworks, but 2022 and 2023 were ushered in with much more fanfare. I remember the start of 2022 very clearly. I was in Dubai then and the Dubai tourism had managed to draw in big crowds for the Burj Khalifa fireworks. I had returned back from a two-day break, to find long queues of people waiting for Covid PCR testing and the PCR results. These were not the sick people but people who needed covid results for travelling. For the entire week, our lab was struggling with 10 to 20 times the workload we could manage. In addition, the community transmission was high and so the staff was getting sick, and we really had a tough time. What struck me most was, that same people can stand in crowds for 8 to 12hrs to view the fireworks. Yet, the delays to the PCR results led these same people to forget all levels of decency. Most of the staff was threatened, subjected to verbal and mental abuse. That made me ponder on the fact that millions of people who spend on new year getaways, do they go back refreshed and peaceful? Each one to his own, that experience made me reflect on how I as a person deal with any service industry when such hiccups happen. I choose kindness and try to practice the same in each and every interaction, whatever be the situation.

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