I woke up this morning thinking, “today is December 30th.” The final Friday of 2022. A weekend to celebrate (good planning, 2022!), and Monday rolls around in a new year.
[disclaimer; the rest of this post will be taking a Northern Hemisphere view of the season. Apologies to friends in the Southern hemisphere]
For me, the “new year” always feels like it starts in September. Part of that may be because I’m Jewish, and our lunar new year comes around then, but I think it’s more about school starting again. New clothes, new schedules, new notebooks and pens… all that amazing, long-stretching possible.
By the time December comes around, though, the routines have become, well routine. The notebooks are scrawled in, the pens lost or dried up, the possible likewise drying into the actual.
Maybe that’s why New Year’s Day is my favorite holiday, because you’re stuck, you’re tired, you’re a little worn out, and then New Year’s Eve comes around, and people start talking about fresh starts, about making resolutions to do it better this time. It’s a second chance pretending to be a new start. It’s addictive.
And resolving to do something is easy. “This year I’m gonna…”
So many things we’re gonna.
Over a decade ago, I resolved to make no more resolutions, and that’s one I’ve managed to keep. Mostly. But I’m no more immune to the lure of a fresh start than I am to the lure of a fresh, new notebook, never mind that I already have more notebooks, half-filled, than even a writer could ever need. It’s aspirational, I’m gonna DO IT this time. I’m going to take control of my own story, and rewrite it fresh, and better.
Yep. This year I’m going to stop worrying about Goodreads reviews. I’m going to stop buying anything from Amazon. I’m going to write every single day, and make every single internal deadline.
C’mon. No I’m not.
That’s not to say we can’t change, of course we can. We do. In fact, it’s harder NOT to change, than to change. It takes serious effort to remain static in the face of life’s constant friction. But personal, internal changes are most effective when done a piece at a time. There is no deus ex machina to lift us overnight out of our funk.
But if our lives are stories – and they are, a multitude of intermingling stories, crosshatching the globe – then January 1st doesn’t start the revision of the last 365 days. It’s the first page of the next chapter.
Time to build on what we’ve already written.
What new chapter are you going to write?