As I sit here in my living room, next to our lit Christmas tree*, watching the original How the Grinch Stole Christmas (ie: animated Chuck Jones version) for what feels like the millionth time this year with my son, I’m thinking about New Years Eve. I was writing in my “brain dump” file, which is too random to be considered a journal, and realized how arbitrary this all is. Our planet is constantly in motion around the sun, barreling through space, and we have randomly picked a day that happens to fall less than two weeks after the day where half the planet has its longest days and half has its shortest, and call it the start of the year.
Every 24 hours, a new day starts. Every hour, somewhere on Earth hits midnight and starts a new day, and any of them could be the start of a new year. So, why all the fuss and stress and expectations from this particular midnight, this particular new day? Why do we put all the weight of “a new year,” and all the resolutions, promises and overambitious goals on this particular transition from one day to the next?
I admit, I’m as guilty as the next person of being excited for a new year, eager to put 2018 into the rear view mirror altogether, and having plans for the new year. That said, I’m not planning on stressing about it too much. I don’t need to do all the things tomorrow, I don’t need to feel like I’m starting the year off on a good foot. If things go wrong in the next day or so, so be it. It doesn’t have to have the emotional effect of negatively impacting the whole year. In fact, I think one of my biggest goals for the new year is to try and think of every day as having the same possibility, the same chance of a fresh start. Every day is a new day, and is the start of another trip around the sun from that particular spot of our orbit.
So, my plans for tonight? Well, I’m watching Avengers: Infinity War, having some boba, and going to bed. Goals for tomorrow? Start with a shower, go to Mass, and then maybe go for a walk with my family. I’d also like to start a new Bullet Journal, though it will likely take a couple of days to get it where I’d like it, and, like I’ve said, that’s OK. In trying to find better balance and be more gentle with myself, I’m really working on breaking things down and going one day, hour or even minute at a time. I know my journey through therapy may have some more “invisible cows” ahead, and that things can get worse before they get better, but they can and will get better.
How are you looking at the start of a new calendar year?
*Yes, our Christmas tree is still up. One thing I love about being a practicing Catholic is that Christmas starts on December 25th, and keeps going into January, including singing Christmas songs at Mass.