“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept it; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”Ralph Waldo Emerson
At a glance, I don’t quite understand why a New Year is so exciting. It’s just a date on the calendar.
Most of the time, it’s important for me to stay in the present. My anxiety often comes from the past or the future. The present is where I am, and where I try to focus.
But I appreciate that the New Year is a time to contemplate the past with a graceful judgement. It’s a time of contemplation– of reminiscing and goal-setting. We get to purposefully celebrate where we have been, reflect on what we’ve endured, and recognize what we’ve accomplished. It’s probably not healthy to look back all the time, but one day can’t hurt.
I seems silly to pick one day to set new goals for the future, when we could realistically do that at any time. Every day offers new possibilities and potential. But if that’s one day, what does a year bring? 365 new and wonderous days. That’s a lot to consider. After all, some goals take time, require gradual progress, and setting intentions. Some goals NEED 365 days, not just one. And maybe there is something comforting about starting a New Year together. We all have resolutions of some kind, to varying degrees of formality. And knowing we’re starting this new thing together is a weird form of accountability, or at least relateability.
Like, we all know the gyms will be packed starting today, and the regulars will be annoyed. But they all had to pick a day to become regulars too. Maybe next year you’ll get to be annoyed with the rest of them. That’s community, my friends.
My favorite way to celebrate the New Year is to write a letter to myself. No, you can’t read it. But in general, I like to talk about the things I remember most clearly for the year. I’m surprised by what leaves the biggest impressions. And I write about what I learned, and what I want to do in the next year — what I want to work on, where I want to go (literally or figuratively). I’ve only done this two years so far, but it’s been a rewarding experience. It helps me to put it all down on paper, the thoughts and feelings that linger as the year turns once more.
If you have resolutions or traditions for the New Year that you feel comfortable sharing, I’d love to hear them!