It’s a New Year – a time for “new beginnings,” “resolutions,” and fresh starts. …Or is it? Every year, we celebrate the beginning of a new year with anticipation and hope as we take the calendar off the wall and replace it with a new one. It feels fresh and new as we wrap up dealings from the previous year such as writing down our mileage for taxes, using the expiring coupons that have been laying around, and making those last-minute charitable donations before December 31stcomes to a close. Many set ambitious resolutions and goals for themselves to accomplish in a new year and by doing that, they place themselves at the start of a new journey – like this first blog post for me.
But the irony of the “New Year” is that it is new only in our minds. If you gaze outside, the weather and the trees don’t know it’s a new year, just that the Earth is continuing on its same orbit around the sun once again. My pets don’t know it’s a new year. The stuff that was in my fridge yesterday is still there, and the pants that fit me yesterday still fit today (barely, to be honest) and they are still in the laundry which is still in the dryer. While we may sip champagne and watch the sparkly ball drop while the numbers change on our phones, nothing really changes. In fact, most everything stays exactly the same and isn’t “new.” The beauty is that we can choose what is new – including our intentions and our mindsets.
Our culture values “success” and “accomplishment.” Invariably, these are defined by attaining specific and tangible goals: earning a certain income or a degree, landing a job, earning a promotion, losing or gaining a set goal weight, completing a marathon, etc. All of these journeys have a beginning, and there is certainly nothing wrong with setting one’s intentions on accomplishing their own goals at the start of a new year. But for those of us who are at a place in our lives where just simply being is an accomplishment itself – we should embrace it! We are, after all, human “beings” not human “doings.” After 2020, many people consider – correctly, in my opinion – that survival was their major accomplishment of the year.
There isn’t anything special about the New Year that we can’t embrace every day. Every day is a new day – to set, accomplish, or even abandon goals. Every day is a new invitation to continue doing all of the most important things we do that aren’t “goals” or journeys and have no end or beginning like loving, learning, listening, sharing, and being still. In these extraordinary times, where many of the usual resolutions may seem unattainable, perhaps we can focus on the value of these things we do that cannot be measured. I hope the New Year and each new day brings you love, security, health, peace, and just the right amount of challenge to appreciate joy.