365 days of 2017 are finished and the new year, 2018, has begun. We’ve circled the Sun and now we are right back in the same place we were this time last year. Did we stick to our 2017 resolutions? Did we change anything about ourselves in the last year? Did we fail miserably? Did we succeed at all?
At this time last year, sitting at the long table at my maternal grandmother’s cabin in the woods, I wrote this. I jotted down a few things that I wanted to remember, to do better at, and to fill my days with in 2017. So how did I do? I’d say fair to middling, and I’m good with that.
Perhaps I, we, all of us, would do better if the new year actually was a clean slate. The old year ending like the linear thread cut by the scissors of the Fates, with all of the old life falling away. All of the attachments, cares, worries, pounds, habits and the innumerable other stuff we don’t want following us into the new year and the new life we envision for ourselves left unceremoniously behind, trapped in the pages of last year’s calendars.
Oh that would be easy. But would it be worth it? If I let go of all of my failures in 2017 wouldn’t all of the successes follow suit? Sure I’d like to shed all of the pounds I put on, but I wouldn’t want to lose all of the meals with my family, the coffee and cake, the camaraderie and conversation over broken bread, the time spent teaching my children, the extra slumber in a cozy bed. And while this example might be simplified and probably could have been remedied somewhere along the way by simply choosing better food options or eating less of whatever scrum-didly-umptious was on the plate, the reality for me is that life in 2017 wasn’t so bad that I would want to forget it much less leave it behind.
So here is my new year resolution inspired by Psalms 118:24:
To rejoice and be glad for every day that I am given in the new year and for everyday that I’ve been given up until now.
I start my new year with a dusty slate. Written on, erased, past work visible under the present. I hope you do too.
Happy New Year!