Musings on the New Year

Jan 10, 2017

Resolutions Life Inspiration Self-Improvement Change
analog clock with four sides

Of course I wanted this post to be extra special, meticulously polished, and deeply interesting. After all, it’s the first post of 2017. But I’m working on letting go of perfection.

Such pressure a new year brings — a redo, a fresh start, a chance to begin again, or begin at all. Could it be that we humans invented the concept of time — days, months, years — because we needed a motivation to start over? We wanted a reason to push us into trying again, despite our best efforts in the past? Perhaps. Or maybe our minds can only process things in chunks. Like a recipe, a project, our dreams.

I have started many things that remain unfinished, and what I learned is that the energy we use to work on our previous projects and goals, whether we complete them or not, is carried over into anything new we attempt to create. This is both wonderful and dangerous. Wonderful in the sense that we know that energy is never wasted or used up or depleted. And dangerous because we can bring our negative or reluctant energy into a new project unknowingly and give up before we ever begin.

The same is true for a new year — we will undoubtedly bring into it our old beliefs, patterns, and attachments to some degree. I used to deny this and begin the new year believing I was already changed, already a better version of myself. And when the ingrained parts of me began to surface, I was quickly disappointed and discouraged, feeling like a failure for not measuring up to my better self.

Now I know better and understand that’s not how it works, or even ought to work. I have come to a level of self-acceptance that allows me to begin the new year fully aware I am imperfect, and human, and fragile, and often lazy. And yet also full of potential. I no longer pretend to be striving for an ideal version of myself. I just take steps towards what I feel is good for my soul. I greet the new year with all the love and hope it deserves and then go on with my day as if it were any other day of any other month.

The bills still need to be paid, the dust settles right after I vacuum, the trash needs to be emptied, and the mailman will come. The ordinary of life returns. And that carries with it something extra special all its own. Continuity, familiarity, surrender. It is when we stop forcing something to be what it is not, that it then becomes what it was meant to be. And this year was meant to be what every year is — another chance to show up and love, love, love until we are transformed. ❤