I have always liked New Year’s Day. Not because we do anything exciting; we don’t. In fact, it is a rare year in which I actually manage to stay awake to watch the ball drop. Somehow despite my best attempts I will find myself dozing on the couch, only to be woken by the strains of Auld Lang Syne. My first year in South Dakota I was so excited to wake up fifteen minutes before midnight (having a one month old helps). Guess what? They don’t delay the televising of the ball drop just because you live in another time zone. Yes, I had missed the moment of excitement.
For me, New Year’s isn’t about the ball dropping, or the parties (sometimes for fun my husband and I will break out the sparkling grape juice and the chips; wild and crazy people we are indeed). It is instead the passing of the old into the new. A reminder that we can be reborn, that the mistakes and trials of the past need not define our future. It is a time for reflecting on the past year, a time for reflecting on the victories and the moments we tripped and planted our faces flat in the mud.
It is a time for looking back and it is a time for looking forward; sometimes I think we need to look back first to understand ourselves before we can look forward to the shape of things to come. Forget the resolutions; how often do we really maintain that diet, or read the Wall Street Journal daily, or all the host of other things we promise ourselves? I think that resolutions don’t stick because we make them in a vacuum. We make them because we think we ought to instead of making them out of a sense of purpose, of knowing where we are headed in the coming year. There is a difference between saying “I will work out every day,” and saying “I’ve neglected my physical health in favor of…insert list here. I want to be stronger, healthier, more able to be active with my children and therefore I will…insert plan here.”
So, I’ll be taking the next few days to reflect on the past year, and to look forward to 2009. I’m excited for what is to come!