Should New Year’s be just another day?

Happy New Year
2011 was a year of transition for me.

I spent six months researching and writing my book, BreakingThe Spell, and going through some serious reflection and personal growth. While it was challenging at times, it was also extremely transformative. I enjoyed the process and learned a valuable lesson: how to accept what is and be happy in the moment instead of always striving for more.

Yet at the same time I found myself looking toward 2012 as a “fresh start.”

I heard myself saying “2012 is going to be a great year especially after all I’ve been through this year.” I looked toward January 1, 2012 with great anticipation. The start of a new journey. The start of the second half of my life. Talk about a build up!

Well, New Year’s Day came and instead of it being an amazing, wonderful, joy-filled day, it was a day like any other.

In fact, it was more of a roller-coaster day than most. As much as I had been looking forward to the end of 2011 and the start of 2012, the end of the year and start of the New Year turned out to be full of not-so-great surprises. Nothing terribly horrible, but certainly not the rosy new start I was anticipating.

In fact, my daughter came home after her New Year’s Eve celebration and some unfortunate occurrences, bemoaning the start of her New Year and feeling as though the entire year was going to “suck” as a result. I found myself telling her, “It’s just one night, it doesn’t have to set the tone for an entire year.”

Still I understood where she was coming from and I found myself on New Year’s night, in a funk and trying to make sense of it all.

I even found myself considering postponing the start of my New Year… I have a trip planned later this week, to move my daughter back to Ohio for grad school, and I found myself thinking, “I’ll just start my New Year when I get back from Ohio.”  How crazy is that?  Life is not about waiting to start anything, it’s about living each day to the fullest.

As I sat there reflecting on the day, I began to question the way we view New Year’s.

Why do we need a fresh start every year? If we’re happy and moving in the direction we want to be moving (and I most certainly was) why do we feel the need to start over on January 1st? Why not just keep doing what we’re doing and moving in the direction we’re moving?

By building up the day so much in our heads, it’s almost sure to disappoint.

In my experience, perfect days are always the ones we don’t plan—they’re the days that just unfold as we’re following inspiration.

If we’re not happy with our lives or the direction we’re moving, we can make a change at any time. We don’t need to wait for a new year to do it. I didn’t wait for a new year to change my life direction in 2011. If I had, I would have spent 6 months being miserable and frustrated.

I think from now on I’m going to choose to look at New Year’s as just another day.

I will make changes and begin fresh starts whenever I feel inspired to, but no longer will I build up ONE day in my mind so much, or expect a magical change to occur just because I’ve turned over the calendar.

I do think it’s good to step back and reflect on our lives every so often, and maybe that is the role New Year’s should play. But then again, we can do that at any time, can’t we?

I have a friend who doesn’t really celebrate New Year’s.

Instead she celebrates her New Year in the Spring, when nature is blossoming. I like that idea.

For now, I’m going keep living each day to the fullest. I’m going to get up and do what I am inspired to do. And, I’m not going to put off until tomorrow what I can do today.

 

Image courtesy of KhE (Creative Commons)

About Debbie

After spending 32 years in marketing, Debbie now spends her time blogging, teaching online courses, doing volunteer pet therapy, and encouraging others to follow a more inspired path through life.

4 comments on “Should New Year’s be just another day?

  1. I wholeheartedly agree Debbie. I always felt the build-up and “to-do” about New Year’s Eve and New Year’s was unwarranted. I like your friend’s idea to celebrate Springtime rebirth but you have an even better thought–living each and every day to its fullest. We often forget that we can have a “fresh start” every single day we open our eyes and it’s never too late to try to be the best version of ourselves possible. We absolutely get to choose how our day will go and we make this choice every single day. Great blog–thank you for this perspective!

  2. I like to connect with the mid-season nature of the event…having lived in 2 different hemispheres, the event itself is not attached to a particular season. If I am in the southern hemisphere, I like to walk early in the day, look out across the horizon, say hello to my neighbours and do some yoga outside – if I am in the northern hemisphere, I like to rest, mid-winter and celebrate I made it this far, enjoy being inside, dreaming, eating, reading, reflecting and being grateful then looking ahead and making a 12 month flexible plan. On NY’s day I really like to clean my house in a friendly, loving and celebratory way, change a few things around, through out rubbish and give away what is not being used…enjoy a long relaxed meal, that I prepare, with loved ones at home and chat, toast each other’s progress and affirm intentions, in a general and heart-full way…with good music in the background and a little dance here or there for those who care to and fun photo’s too!

    I like the ritual, marker aspect that marks mid-season and I love that on any given day, or night, I can choose to start afresh anywhere, anytime!

    I am not one for consumer/media generated events – the hype ends up deflating and falling empty on the floor.

    Enjoy your ended beginnings, everyone, when ever they may be 🙂

  3. Another excellent post, Debbie!

    In fact, yesterday I found myself pondering the Chinese New Year, the Jewish New Year, nature’s new year (which begins in the spring – as you mentioned in your post), the Christian’s celebration of Easter (which is all about the resurrection of Jesus Christ) — and of course, the Mayan calendar’s new year. And I realized – there are MANY new years, happening all the time!

    So it was quite the synchronicity to get a note today regarding your latest blog post. 🙂

    As I type this, the word “rebirth” comes to mind. ~ Or perhaps, “reinvention” is more apt, depending on a person’s circumstances.

    For me, I’m always pondering new beginnings – which I like to focus on every month during the new moon cycle. ~ “What would I like to begin this month? What would I like to manifest or bring into clarity during this moon cycle?” ~ These are questions I ask myself during every new moon phase – and I like to weave in astrological energies as I set my monthly intentions.

    Thank you for allowing me to share – and thanks for such a timely post!

    ~ Tina

  4. Hi Debbie and happy 2012. In reading your thoughtful insights about New Year’s, I paused to reflect on what 2011 meant to me. I immediately thought about something you wrote back in 2010: “Sometimes I look back and I see that I have checked my brain, my instincts and my personality at the door, and blindly followed others. No more. From this point on, I am standing up as who I am, blemishes and all, and I encourage you to do the same.” I printed your statement out and taped it to my engagement calendar that I look at every day. Little did I know in 2010, how much of an affect that statement was going to have on me.

    Last March I began to feel the affect of living that statement and am still experiencing it’s truth. Much has changed in my personal life. I’ve stopped pretending emotions for the sake of going along, likes & dislikes. I speak from the heart now. It feels much different and sometimes I feel like I’m alone, but it’s okay. I also stopped frequenting a class where I wasn’t participating in most of the projects, going because I derive business from people in the class. I was nervous about not going as I worried that I’d loose business, but actually, I did better in 2011 than 2010.

    I know there’s a lot more work to be done with a statement like this, and I’m prepared. It’s all about moving forward, being positive, genuine, honest with yourself and others, and being mindful and compassionate of others. So, we move into 2012 with momentum and clarity.

    Thank you for your insights and honest writing.

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