Goodbye 2023, hello 2024.

Oh hey, 2024. Happy New Year, friends.

I started my new year like I always do – with a New Year’s Day Run. It’s become a bit of a tradition and I don’t want to jinx the new year by NOT starting it off on the right foot (literally). I am not superstitious, but I do like to stick to my routines. We did stay up until after midnight though (which I heard, many people did not) and I once again stood on an empty street at midnight looking up at the stars. In Germany, I was used to going out at midnight to watch the fireworks and celebrate the new year with neighbors/friends. Nobody goes out on the streets here to ring in the new year, but I still do. And I usually can count on a phone call from my uncle and my mom at midnight, so I have to stay up to greet the new year.

While I usually look forward to the time between Christmas and New Year’s as a time of slow-down, reflection, and anticipation, it has also brought more nostalgia and melancholy in recent years. I don’t know what it is, but I always feel a little behind on this whole “reflection and resolution exercise” that we all engage in when the new year comes around, even though the timing is the same every year and not exactly a surprise. I am also usually an optimist, but it’s hard – even for me – to be optimistic sometimes.

I do have hope that 2024 can turn out to be a good year, but a few things worry me. The wars in Gaza and Ukraine are constantly on my mind. I don’t talk about it much here or on social media, but I am not living my life in ignorant bliss (sometimes I wish I could) and what I see on the news is weighing heavy on my heart. How is anybody ok with what’s going on? I guess, technically nobody is but then, why isn’t anybody stopping it? It’s 2024 and people still do this to each other. Aren’t there better ways to resolve conflict? Better yet, can we just finally embrace to “live and let live”? I am about to lose faith in humanity.

Also, this year is an election year in the US and I’m kinda disillusioned about a path forward politically. It seems like we have a lot of people “in charge”, who are not doing their jobs. Look, we all would have been fired a long time ago if we half-assed our jobs like that, but I guess politicians don’t have performance reviews. Unless you call election day their performance review, and surprisingly, lots of people seem to want to keep “poor-performing” people around. Let’s not even talk about inflation, climate change, and a gazillion other things.

Ugh, I am sorry. I am not very inspirational today. I didn’t expect this first week of the new year to knock me a bit off keel but it did. I really hope to shake this feeling soon. This feels so not like me.

I know, there are good things to look forward to in my personal life. I am planning a trip to see my family (and friends), I am hoping for more (weekend) trips with Jon, and I’ll continue to prioritize health, fitness, and nutrition in my life. I am thankful for you guys, for our little blogging bubble, and for the connections and friendships forged here. They mean so much.
Maybe 2024 will be the year where I follow through with some of the “projects” I want to do and so often in the past couple of years have failed to make time for. We’ll see how things turn out. There’s always hope.

Did you notice this year started on a Monday? At least, there’s that.

  1. It has been hard to be too enthusiastic for 2024 (honestly, every four years it feels like this, doesn’t it?), but I’ve been trying to focus on finding the good every day as a way to get me out of my funk. This is a terrible time of year for me (it is dark all the time!) and I have to just find something. Today my co-worker brought treats and I had a unexpected muffin and that’s something, right?

    I do hope that you are able to find some joy in the new year. It’s not all bad out there.

    1. You’re absolutely right, we have to focus on the good in every day. That is usually also my attitude and I’ll continue to work hard at this.

  2. It is such a weird time to be alive (and our age). In the “prime of our lives” but it also feels like the world is burning around us. How do we stay positive and bring light and love into the world when there is so much hurt and darkness? It’s hard, my friend, and I appreciate you discussing that challenging dichotomy here.

    Wishing you and Jon (and you families) good health and many joyful memories in 2024!

    1. Thank you, Elisabeth, for the emotional support. It’s hard to reconcile light and darkness in this world. I do hope to move forward with a positive attitude and do what I can in the space around me.

  3. sorry you feel that way for 2024, I think they are things out of our control, we can only hope for the best and do what we do to help out.
    I also started Monday with a long run, 16 miles as I haven’t done long run for two weeks during holidays. It was not the most pleasant run but I was happy to start the year that way, I wouldn’t change it for anything else :)
    happy new year and let’s all hope 2024 turns out better than we anticipated.

    1. Yes, we do what we can to make a difference in our lives and that must be enough. Hopefully, if people do this collectively, there’s hope for a brighter future.

  4. I like that you went outside to see stars at midnight! Regarding politics, I think part of it is that we feel helpless. So I will do what I can do make things better, and try to not let the rest of it stress me out too much. That sounds kind of callous, but I feel like I can only do so much. I can vote. I can try to encourage other people to vote. I can donate money to causes that help those who are suffering. I’m not sure what else. Ugh.

    I hope 2024 is a good year in so many ways. Peace would be a great start, wouldn’t t?

    1. Yes, Julie. It’s definitely a feeling of helplessness, but you’re absolutely right that the only thing we can is to focus on making things better in our own little world and hopefully it will ripple out.

  5. The world around us is so worrisome, San, and there is so much pain and suffering. It’s overwhelming, I don’t blame you for feeling this way! xo

    1. Thanks Nicole. I am glad you understand and I am not alone.

  6. I hope 2024 has something good in store for you personally! I can understand your feelings about being hopeless in current times very well. Watching the news these days breaks my heart every time and I am also dreading the election year. Especially the finger pointing without having constructive ideas drives me up the walls. I have same approach as J most of the time to deal with it and I still hope there is something better coming.

    1. Yes, it’s hard but staying positive and making small changes where we can is the only way forward!

  7. I feel you …. Let’s hope 2024 has some good things to offer. Hug!!

    1. Yes! Hope dies last ;)

  8. Happy new year! The state of the world is worrisome but I try I block it out to some extent and focus on my little bubble since there isn’t much I can do personally to change things. I do what I can and hope for the best and that better times are ahead. I think of previous challenging times like times of world wars or the late 60s when multiple assassinations happened followed by Vietnam. Things must have felt terribly bleak at those times but we persevered and things improved with time. That’s my hope for this current rough stretch.

    NYE was a regular day for us. I went to bed at my usual time. Staying up late is not great with young kids. I will pay for it and it’s not fun! But even before I had kids, I wasn’t huge on staying up late. We kind of feel like NYE is a majorly overrated holiday! We say happy new year and enjoy a fresh start and I usually get bit by an organization bug but it’s not a super special holiday for us.

  9. I understand your point of view and feel the same way. I’m cautiously hoping that the wars in our world come to their ends, being one to prefer peace. And I’m reluctantly realizing that this is going to be a year of ceaseless political bickering, being one who believes we can do better in this country. 2024 could be a long year, or a great one that turns things around for the better.

  10. I agree with you San. The state of the world is troubling. Why is there so much hate? I hope, in some small way to be a little bit of light in the world.

  11. Ugh.
    I don’t talk about it on my blog, but I have lots of complicated feelings about the world and having children growing up in it.

  12. Happy New Year, San. I love the image of you outside looking at the stars after midnight. I’m sorry that you’ve been feeling a bit down between Christmas and New Years. That’s understandable. The world is full of difficulties. It is hard sometimes to make sense of them.

    I look forward to hearing about your upcoming travel plans. I’m excited for you to get to visit your family.

  13. I think you put into words what a lot of us are feeling right now, and I appreciate that. It’s going to be a really scary year, I think, between the wars and the election. It’s hard to know what to do or say or think or feel.

    Hopefully, this time next year, we will be in a good place. That’s what I’m hoping for.

  14. I am feeling you San. I have had a weird end of year and start to the new one. It felt all rushed, no Christmas spirit really, all just low key and get it done with. The in-between the years with my planning and goal setting and inspiration seeking was very hard this time around. And it felt a bit like a chore doing it. That said I started 2024 tired and not well rested. Sigh… Let’s hope it picks up.

    As for the political and world happenings. Huge sigh. I am loosing my faith in humanity too. And looking at what happens in Germany right now is just so freaking scary that I can’t decide if I want to move to a tiny island or if it is time to start fighting. It is all too much.

  15. San, there are so many of us who share your grief and your fear and your worry. <3 I hope it helps to know that we are all out here, hoping for the same things… peace, and calm. It seems a far stretch this year. I, too, have been in a bit of a heavy mood, and I'm trying to break out of it. Thank you, as always, for showing the way. Love visiting you in this space, my friend, whatever you choose to share. <3

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