Your Pain Doesn’t Have to Be Productive

Our New Year doesn’t need to have a transformative outcome.

Dr. Ava Pommerenk
5 min readDec 30, 2020
Photo by olia danilevich from Pexels

Memes that share about the disorienting, and often painful nature of the days between Christmas and New Years, exist for a reason. They seem to point to a collectively shared experience of pain, simultaneously making us more aware of (and seen in) our humanity, while getting to laugh about it.

Most of us, building up to the New Year, are filled with many feelings in reflection on what we did or did not do, during the year prior. We also realize we spent much of that time, trying to be and feel something other than what was most true in each moment.

In other words, we spent much of the year as though we had blinders on, racing to a finish line.

At this imaginary finish line, there is allegedly a better experience or outcome possible for us, if only we push ourselves forward, or at the very least tolerate or get through, our current state.

We then get to the end of a year, feel deflated, and see we are starting the cycle over again. We feel robbed of…



Dr. Ava Pommerenk

Coach. Psychologist. Writing about new perspectives, love, relationships, Narcissism, healing, transformation, & culture.