Some people moan and groan at the thought of the New Year. Another year, another batch of failed resolutions and dashed hopes. Well, I’m not so jaded yet.
I love the New Year. I love the optimism. I love the hope that the coming year will bring you all the things that the previous one did not. I love the excuse to take a step back and look at the world with fresher eyes, to analyze the things we’ve done and maybe try and do things differently the next time around.
I won’t pretend to believe that we get a Clean Slate at the strike of midnight each New Year’s Eve. The things we said and did in the past year still have meaning. We’re still accountable for that mean thing we said without thinking, and the fact that the Father’s Day gift we gave left quite a bit to be desired. Although we’ve long since been forgiven for those things, we still remember our failings from the past year. So though the New Year doesn’t equal Clean Slate, it does offer a chance to start again, to do things better this time around. We all need that chance, every now and then.
We remember the good things too, though. The New Year is a perfect opportunity to see how far we’ve come in the last twelve months. For instance, a year ago, I was only just preparing to move out of country for the semester. Before that trip, I’d never travelled alone. I’d never spelled ‘travelled’ with two ‘L’s… Before that trip, most of the people I knew had been brought up in a way and in a place very similar to myself. Now, I have friends from all over the country and the world. I’ve grown so much as a person in the past twelve months, but I’m not done yet – I have so much more to see and learn and I’m beginning to think that I’ll never be finished.
Lots of people hate making resolutions. There’s too much pressure or a fear of failure. Some kinds of New Year’s Resolutions are easy to fail. Lose weight. Go out more. Go out less. Wake up earlier. Give up Diet Coke… Once you mess up once or twice you think, “Well, I’ve already failed the resolution, so why bother?” But other resolutions, the kind I plan on making this year, are a little more vague. You can’t fail at them because they aren’t concrete goals; they’re more like mantras:
Do what scares you.
Be more authentic.
Take more risks.
I’ll let you know how those work out this time next year…
Here’s wishing you a Happy New Year. May it be full of fresh opportunities, beautiful places, and friends new and old.
“Now I have a lot to learn and I’m starting tonight,
got to stop looking at things like they’re black and they’re white.
Got to write more songs, love a little more, treat my friends better.
Got to stop worrying about everything to the letter.
And sometimes when it’s too hard to get on,
it just might be you that I’ll call upon.”
–New Years Eve by First Aid Kit