Why New Year’s Eve is always a disappointment

Why New Year’s Eve is always a disappointment

You know how it is.

You made plans months ago about where and with who to spend it, and tonight is the night.

You’ve dressed up, like you were about to be knighted by the Queen.

People are showing up, and the air fills with excitement.

But you can’t really enjoy it, because it doesn’t feel like the extraordinary extravaganza you’ve been promised…

And once more, this year’s New Year’s, feels like a let-down.

Another year wasted.

But why?


Why New Year’s Eve is a Let-Down

Because your expectations were too high.

That’s not a surprise. You probably already knew that.

But when we expect much of the future, we fail to grasp and enjoy the present. And that is what enjoying a party is: enjoying the present.

Because as the old proverb goes:

“In anticipation of tomorrow, we loose today.”

So, since you’ve been looking forward to this evening for weeks, you’ve put too much pressure on it for it to be able to live up to your expectations.

But also: you’ve created a mindset of looking forward to “what will happen next” which stops you from “what happens now”.

By any other standards this is a great party. Good music, good people, good food, and even fireworks (!).

But in your mind, you demand perfection for this night to be a success.

The same mechanisms are in play when a random night with a few friends beats the expected (and also disapointing) “party of the year” you had been looking forward to for a long time.

You’re judging the night by other standards than you would normally do, in anticipation of what might (should) come instead of enjoying what happens.


Expectation is determined by your mindset

Happiness is relative. If you expect lavish festivity and have a cozy night with a few friends, you might be disappointed. Whereas the same cozy night with a few friends would have been an incredible experience if it happened on a random rainy Sunday.

See, New Year’s Eve is not bad. Neither is it good.

It just is. 

How you perceive it determines if you’ll find it good or bad. And how you perceive it is determined by your mindset and your expectations of the night, and of your life.

What you feel like you’ve been “promised” or even what you “deserve”.

This goes for all in life.

50 years ago, having a steady income, a good education, a house, a car and a family, (perhaps even a black/white TV) was everything one could hope for.

Today we have far more than what people in the 1960’s could even imagine, and it’s still not enough – because of our expectations – not because of our needs.


What to do about it

Understand that there’s nothing special about New Year’s Eve. It has better possibilities of being a great party, but that doesn’t mean it will be.

And understand that just because you hope for something it doesn’t mean it will happen. In fact, it doesn’t even mean you would want it to happen.

Perhaps the best party you can have on New Year’s Eve is to sit with just a few trusted friends and laugh over a bottle of red wine, instead of fighting your way through the ocean of drunk, obnoxious people, to get to the town square for the stroke of midnight.

Or perhaps it isn’t.

We simply don’t know.

What we do know, is that if we keep anticipating something else to happen, we won’t delight in the moment and either of the nights might feel lost. Feel wasted.

So, let go of your thoughts of what might be, or might have been, and enjoy the little things happening around you in the moment.

Life is neither good, nor is it bad. It simply is. It happens around us, and all we can do is to soak it in while it does. Enjoy it. Relish it. Stay in the moment.

All the best, Rasmus


P.S. Share this on Facebook with your friends. We all deserve to let go of tomorrow and enjoy tonight.

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