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I refuse to let the last two years harden my heart against the idea that things might get better

Séamas O’Reilly


The author makes the case for embracing 2022 in an optimistic mood: after all, worrying about all the bad things that could happen only increases their impact on your life

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Hopeful: Séamas O’Reilly spent the first minutes of 2021 reeling from Covid. Credit: Steve Ryan

Hopeful: Séamas O’Reilly spent the first minutes of 2021 reeling from Covid. Credit: Steve Ryan

Hopeful: Séamas O’Reilly spent the first minutes of 2021 reeling from Covid. Credit: Steve Ryan

Like anybody who loves procrastinating, I write a lot of lists. You know the kind of thing: a series of tasks collated in order of size, and almost always preceded by two or three that I’ve already done so I can cross them off straight away as a little freebie to myself.

The function of these lists should be to lay things out in a practical manner, helping tackle a set of problems one by one. But this is not how I use them. My method is to write all the things down, cross off the ones I’ve already done then completely forget about said list forever. The act of writing the list becomes, in and of itself, the tonic I need. It’s surprising that this sleight of hand works, since I’m aware that I’m doing it. Here I am, in a newspaper article describing exactly the illusion I perform upon myself, and yet I will soon cast this same magic trick on my simple brain all over again, more than likely within a week of finishing this sentence.


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