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A Very Nora New Year - TTFA PREMIUM - Transcript

This is a transcript of a “TTFA Premium” episode entitled, “A Very Nora New Year.” The text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future for accuracy.

Listen to the episode here.


Hello everybody, this is Nora McInerny. This is an episode of our podcast that is available in its entirety over at TTFA Premium. 

TTFA Premium is our subscribers-only feed where we put bonus content, where we put ad-free episodes, where we put some full-length guest interviews. It is a way to financially support our show, and if that is something you are interested in doing and able to do, it is a couple bucks a month, and you can sign up at TTFA dot org slash Premium. That’s TTFA dot org slash Premium. 

Thank you! And enjoy.

Hello, everybody, it's Nora McInerny. I always feel like I have to introduce myself by my whole name. I also do this when I send people text messages. I just always assume that people do not know who is talking to them. And I actually think that the text message thing is a form of politeness, because you never know who has or has not saved a number. And if you haven't texted someone in a while, I think it is actually perfectly socially acceptable to say, “Hi, this is so-and-so reaching out to say hello.” Whenever people are like, “Hey, how's it going?” And I don't have their number saved. I want to be like, “What do you mean, how is it going?”


We are on the cusp of an alleged new year. I say alleged because I spent all of 2021 completely oblivious to the fact that it was 2021. Numerous times I've told people that something will be happening in “summer of '21,” and they've said, “You mean last summer?” And I said, “No, next summer, this coming summer.” They say, “Summer '21 already happened.” I refuse to believe that. I refuse to believe that the past 12 months have been another year. It's just 2020, the extended cut. This is with the director's commentary. I don't acknowledge it. I cannot remember to write it on checks. Yes, I still write checks. Yes, I do. In my journals, I'm constantly writing 2020 as if that year. just. didn't. end. 

Because ... did it? I mean, I'm just going to push back against science and the lunar calendar —  Big Calendar, if you will. 

The last time that I remember really, really looking forward to the turn of the calendar year was 2019. And I think we all know how that one ended, OK? 2019 we sat down, we looked forward into this new year and we said, “This is going to be the best year ever.” I know I'm not alone. People were saying things like, and I cringe to think this now, “2020 vision. 2020 vision.” This is not just going to be A Year. It is going to be an excellent year. 

Are you kidding me? I believe that what happened is we all jinxed it. We all jinxed it, didn't we? Ugh. 

So as December 31st, 2020 approached, I kept my expectations low. I kept them non-existent. And I can't say enough good things about that, about that attitude, about going into a new year with literally no aspirations. No expectations. Letting whatever happens happen. Giving yourself a GD break. When are we ever allowed to do that? And I say that, by the way, as a recovering gifted and talented child, a person who was told from a young age that the things you do are central to who you are. 


There's something about a new year that gives us sort of like, the same vibe as like a new week starting, right? New. We love things that are new. We love the feeling of being able to start over, to start fresh. And let me tell you right now, a little secret. You can do that at any time. You can do it at any point in time. You can decide that you were having a fiscal new year. You are turning the page on your own 12-month calendar, wherever it is you are right now. You can do that, we can do that. That's what I've spent the past year doing, and it's what I wish I would have done, or given myself the chance to do, earlier. There's nothing magical about January 1st. Nothing. Absolutely nothing magical about January 1st. Nothing magical about a Monday. You can start something at any point in time. And what I think the new year pressure does to us, especially with, you know, resolutions which, we've all seen the studies that are like, “Most people's New Year's resolutions last exactly 13 minutes, because none of you have any commitment,” and it's like, well... 


What are we resolving? And why are we resolving it? Why are we so committed to relentless forward momentum? Relentless improvement? 


I no longer want to be so committed to constant improvement, because what I think that does too, is really create a self-centeredness in us. When we're constantly focused on how we can be better, we can be the best — not for the sake, by the way, typically of the people around us, but it's for, like, personal reasons, right? Is anyone in your life being like, “Well, god I just wish that- I wish she could run a marathon. You know, that would really make me respect her.” No, probably not. Is anyone around you thinking like, “God, I just wish she could do more, right, just do more. Be better.” Probably not. Like, you're probably fine just the way you are. And if you're not, by all means, like, go get the actual help you need. But you do not need to sit around hating yourself into a different version of yourself. 


When my husband died, I bought a Tony Robbins book. I bought a Tony Robbins book as if what was wrong with me was somehow my attitude. As if what was wrong with me was not just, “Oh, you've gone through something incredibly difficult and bruising and something that will take time to heal. But like, snap out of it, baby. How can you make the best out of a bad situation?”

It's just so ick. 

There are probably some people who have very healthy relationships with things like self-improvement and setting goals for themselves. But if you are like me, you're not one of them. You're not one of them. You are a person who is like, all or nothing. And how can I be better and how can I, like, how can you just like who you are right now? Like what is there to like about who and how you are right now, how your life is right now? Have we given any thought to that, to what is right, in the right now? 

Alright everybody, that was a preview of an episode that is on TTFA Premium. TTFA Premium is a subscriber base. It is a way to financially support this show that we’ve been making for almost five years. Good golly. You can subscribe for a couple bucks a month, support our show, get some extra stuff like ad-free episodes, like extended guest interviews, and regular bonus content. If you are able and willing to do that, you can go over to TTFA dot org slash Premium. That’s TTFA dot org slash Premium. But I appreciate you either way. Ok bye!