another year… another day
What’s all the fuss about? Crowds gathered in public squares. Fireworks and fairy lights. Dinner parties and B&W balls. Champagne and kisses. Every culture has its way to do it, and we have done it for thousands of years. We love to celebrate the start of another year.
This week, in the afterglow, I have been contemplating the idea of New Year’s Resolutions. It’s a big topic of conversation here in England; seems the young people generally answer yes, while the older ones just say no. I have been a big fan of the idea for years: “Rah Rah, I Resolve.” This year; it doesn’t quite fit. I’m looking for another word.
There is a bittersweet emotional mixture in letting go of the old and stepping into the new, as if there were a real threshold between them. The door is there because we say it is. And, within that frame, our feelings attach themselves to our preferences. Goals we did or didn’t achieve, people we met or lost, dreams we realized or not. We are proud… or ashamed. We delight… or regret. We respond to what we see… or we turn a blind eye.
I have always enjoyed this threshold. I like to review the year. It is place for acknowledging the value in what I have lived, to turn and smile and wave goodbye before walking through this door we have built. In turning to look back, I acknowledge what I appreciated during the year as well as what I would have done differently.
This annual threshold is also a place to stand on the hill and survey the year ahead. It is a place for setting intentions. Even if I never achieve them, intentions are an essential step in the creative process. They give direction to the wild flow of untamed creative energy coming to us and through us all the time.
In the course of writing this post, I have realized my issue with the idea of New Year’s Resolutions. It is twofold. First, the idea of a resolution feels rigid to me, a kind of teeth-gritting, white-knuckling, or-else approach to this most fluid of all substances… Time. Second, it is the timeframe itself; it is not enough.
There are two disciplines I have practiced this year (please notice I use the word practice rather than achieve), and they are daily practices.
- Intention. In 2010, I found the lovely website Intent.com, where I experienced the value of being part of an online community created “for turning your intention into tangible action, and inspiring others to do the same.” Day after day, circumstances permitting, I stated my intention, received sincere support from strangers, and celebrated my outcomes. And I did achieve in the process.
- Gratitude. It was during Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Sarah Ban Breathnach that I first discovered the simple and powerful idea of ending each day by stating five things I am grateful for from that day. It will change your day.
These two practices, I realized while writing this post, are the daily version of what I love to do each year. So, that, my friends, is my intention for this, another year… beginning with this, another day.
What about you?