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A new page.

It’s interesting to see how many people view the New Year as a new slate. It isn’t just another day that we wake up to but another chapter of life’s book.

One of the first things I heard after midnight on the 1st was a guy leaving the building I was in declaring that ‘I haven’t had a cigarette since last year!‘. A totally expected and cheesy joke, but it made everyone laugh.

I have always seen new days as new chapters. From 00.00 to 23.59, one block. Once is hits midnight, the whiteboard is wiped clean. This probably comes from our concepts of time and the use of calender’s. Instead of living in a continuously flowing world where each moment is different to the last, the sun setting and rising again is classed as one segment of time. This has provided me stability when it comes to managing my time and weekly schedule, however it has also made my life very difficult indeed. I grew up with pretty bad OCD, and it was only last year that I learned the term for one of these struggles at therapy. Contamination.

I was under the impression that contamination was just a fear of getting sick and the constant need to be clean. It turns out that it is also a mental phenomena. When I was a kid and through my teens and early twenties, I had to get out of bed with a good thought. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t get out of bed until I had a good one. If I got out of bed on a bad thought, or the first thought I had after midnight (the start of a new day) was a negative one, I wouldn’t enjoy the day until it was over. On New Years Eve in 2005, this happened and because it was the start of the year, it wasn’t just the day I contaminated but the whole year of 2006. I had a bunch of anxiety at this moment, worried that this negative feeling would last 365 days. Thankfully it didn’t but the feeling of contamination did keep flaring up throughout the year and I still remember it over a decade later. The danger here is that it can keep getting worse if I keep reacting to OCD thoughts. A day ruined can be a year, and then a decade. During the hardest moments of my life with the condition, if I won the lottery on a day that I felt I contaminated with a negative thought (such as a bad thing happening to a family member or me doing something pretty immoral for whatever reason) I wouldn’t enjoy the incredible wealth I just gained. And I know at this time I most definitely wouldn’t have enjoyed it. Mental illness is that strong.


But I really wanted to write today’s post about how many people see 2017 as a train that has departed as they jumped onto the 2018 one that has just arrived onto the platform.

‘Bye 2017, you won’t be missed!’

‘So long 2017, I am going to make sure 2018 is one to remember’

‘Lets make 2018 even better than 2017 was, bring on the new chapter!’

It seems we all put time periods into separate boxes. This can be a great thing I guess, as it helps us to disassociate with a negative past. A bit like a crabs ability to completely remove a damaged claw, we can mentally detach from a whole year, despite it only being two days ago. It just gets problematic when OCD creeps into it I guess.

Was yours a 2017 you were happy to leave behind, or a train you wanted to stay on? Thankfully we are on the same train all the time, there is just an illusion that we aren’t.


Last Photo by Charles Forerunner on Unsplash


31 replies »

  1. 2017 was both a great year and a challenging year for me. I’ve left it behind with a feeling of gratefulness, and really excited about 2018.
    Hope 2018 is a good year for you Sam with lots of positivity and awesome writing 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Sam, thank you for following my tiny little blog, I’m always surprised when someone does since I don’t have Facebook and don’t promote it. I’m very inconsistent about writing it and so I’m rarely on WordPress and thus I follow very few people. Those I have followed I never seem to get notice when they write something. Seems like you write daily though, which is great, so I’d just need to find the time to read. Easier said than done. My goal though, relating to your post, is to write more and also get better at it since I hate the huge font and extra space. Maybe I have to pay to reduce that? Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks and keep on writing, taking great pictures, and of course, living. A Dude Abikes

    Liked by 1 person

    • To be honest, I don’t promote either! Due to the nature and topics on my blog (particularly at the start) I decided to do it anonymously and not tell family of friends.
      Finding your blog to be honest, was pot luck. There are so many blogs out there, I am continuously looking through my feed at new and existing blogs and if I like what I have seen posted recently, I will engage with that person. Thankfully you had a post there to read as I was browsing! I have found it much easier to meet people that way instead of simply posting and waiting for people to read. It doesn’t work that way.

      The more consistent you become, the more you will enjoy blogging I am sure and get to know how to change setting and themes. You should be able to change many setting in the Themes-Customize section, and there are many tutorials and WordPress staff to help if you are unsure.
      Keep blogging and I am sure 2018 will be a great one for you!

      Liked by 1 person

      • If I forgot to mention I’m an atheist myself, sometimes I say agnostic if people cant handle that. I’m like Mulder, I Want to Believe. Just don’t. Looking at this on phone but on the site not app. So I’m not sure is it a comment or direct message or what? Will work staff help free users?

        Liked by 1 person

      • That’s cool! I used to also call myself an agnostic but only because I wanted to believe too, however that is not what I want anymore. I just want the truth.

        If you are referring to your message, it is a comment. I’m not sure if you can send direct messages here to people other than email. You will have to google the help as I am using an upgraded version of the site which will have more assistance if I need it, however I am sure I was able to chat to someone online when I used the free version. Good luck with it 🙂


  3. Thank you! I love how you explained this! I do like to use the New Year as a time to re-evaluate my life, not in the way that I say farewell to the previous year, but as a great excuse to make sure I’m moving forward. Here’s to making course corrections for our trains!

    Liked by 3 people

    • ‘ I do like to use the New Year as a time to re-evaluate my life, not in the way that I say farewell to the previous year, but as a great excuse to make sure I’m moving forward.’
      This is great. Constantly looking to make sure we are moving forward is a great way to put it. I am sure you will move far with that mentality this year!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Really enjoyed reading this post! Although I do make New Year resolutions, I also strive to improve on a day to day basis. Evaluate each day or each week, make new goals, and keep trying to move in a positive direction. Although it is a new year we shouldn’t wait to make these changes on January 1st! Great read Sam!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I guess I was quite harsh on NY resolutions, as I am sure they are effective for some. But I am glad you don’t wait for New Year to make those changes yourself, like you said we shouldn’t wait!
      Thank you so much for your thoughts and kind words 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Love the photo. I get anxious because a little bit in me is superstitious. It’s my year this year. It means I have to be cautious and need to ward off bad luck come Chinese New Year.
    Last year was hubby’s year and we had so much bad luck I’m worried about this coming year.
    Other than that it’s just another year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Don’t worry about what can happen… Although I do have my own obsessive thoughts, I know that is all they are- thoughts. I don’t believe in luck, although I do believe that there are things that are beyond our control.There are also things that are in our control! And the more we focus on the things we can do, the more we can make the most in life 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for this post (and for following my blog despite its irregularity!). I always struggle with New Year because of that very idea of contaminating the whole year. People cannot understand why I am terrified of screwing up on 1st January – sure everyone wants the new year to be a positive one, with the start of good habits etc. but if they mess up/break a resolution they seem to be able to have an “oh no….oh well, there’s always tomorrow” attitude. Whereas mine is more along the lines of “NOOOOOOOOOOOOO. I’VE SCREWED UP THE WHOLE OF 2018, NOW I HAVE 365 MORE DAYS UNTIL I GET ANOTHER CHANCE TO DO THINGS RIGHT PROPERLY.” I ruminate endlessly over it, whether I should even try to make it a good year if I’m just going to screw it up. If I wake up on one of the first days in January and it’s a bad one, a low day, or a day where I’m in a lot of pain or whatever….then the disappointment is just horrible, that the whole year is affected. I never thought of it as part of OCD, something I always tell myself I’m “over” now I’m on medication…you made me think. Hmm, something to consider.


    • Interesting, so you have very similar thought processes regarding this. So the medication you take isn’t for OCD? Is it anyway related to these thought processes?


  7. Happy New Year! My thoughts on 2017 and the new year is very messed up, which is why I have yet to join the many reflective posts on the new year. I’ll just continue reading about others instead..hope your new year was off to a good start though.. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am sorry to hear 😦 Mine has had a good start, hopefully that continues. I also hope that yours is less messed up than it has been.
      I guess instead of saying happy new year, have a happy 2018 🙂 I will see you around a lot I am sure!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hahaha, thanks for the thoughts…I will try to have a happy year despite the start…trying to be around a lot more here is also something I’m trying to work on…:)

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Personally, I’d reached a point where the years were just numbers. I don’t really “feel” any different from when I was fourteen or sixteen. (Is sweet sixteen just hyped then?)
    But I really don’t feel prepared for 2018 yet… I can’t say right now if I’m going to feel different, or somehow feel ‘mature’, but this year isn’t exactly one I’d be jumping up to greet! (I’ll turn eighteen. I can only wonder, what’s that like? One day you’re a minor, the next, you’re a person of your own will. Boom! Adulthood’s hit.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re still so young! I am 28, and I can tell you I remember my 18th birthday like it was yesterday. My twenties have flown by, so instead of cherishing ages, I am just trying to cherish being happy in the present moment (I am also reading Waking Up by Sam Harris, which will hopefully help with this).
      I wasn’t really a fan of my teens, I loved my twenties much more!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Thanks for that! I’ll definitely check it out.
    I think every age should do that–just live in the now! (Just like your blog’s name—Living!) Age is just a stat that way, I may feel like a kid when I’m 30… who knows? (though the number seems pretty big and far away right now.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I feel that when I am 30 I will still feel like a big kid xD But yes, live in the now is best. We don’t ever live in any other time apart from the ‘now’, so I will try to be happy whether I’m 28 or 78.

      Liked by 1 person

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