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)