I’m not sure if it is a function of climate change, a fluctuation in the magnetic influences in the universe, or simply that I am getting older, but the annual journey around the sun seems to go faster with each revolution.
It’s enough to make a person dizzy.
It seems it was just a few weeks ago when we were singing Auld Lang Syne and hoisting beakers of bubbly, and now, here we are, poised to close another chapter in the game of life.
These days, I tend to spend less time thinking about the year just past, and instead, focus my attention on the year ahead.
I consider it a good sign that I am still excited about the prospect of a new year.
There is something fun about opening a fresh planner for the first time, and speculating about what might fill in on all those blank pages.
It’s really up to us.
There will be certain things around which we will have to navigate, as there are every year, but even after we write all of those in, being careful to use the correct color of ink for each entry, there will still be a lot of blank spaces that represent opportunities for us to do whatever we choose.
The past year is done, and we can’t change the material on those pages.
The beginning of a new year is a bit like the first day of class, the first day in a new job, or the first day of a vacation.
There is that spicy spark that comes from entering the unknown.
For me, the start of a new year is like turning the page in a good book.
We may not know for sure what will be on the next page, or what adventures are in store for us in the chapter ahead.
It is this sense of mystery that can help us break out of any familiar ruts in which we may find ourselves, and to do something completely different if we so choose.
As we look at those blank spaces on the calendar or in our planner, this might be a good time to give some consideration to what we are going to do with them.
Perhaps that is why I still use a paper planner, even though most of my life is also stored on my phone and in my computer. I just like the appearance and feel of a physical planner.
If there is some activity that we enjoy, or perhaps a new activity we’d like to try, this might be a good time to block out some space on the calendar to do so.
On the other hand, if we find, looking back over the past year, that we spent more of our time engaged in activities that were not enjoyable or satisfying for us, maybe this would be a good time to block out some time in which we will not do those things next year.
For example, if we find we have spent more time than we’d like staring at a computer, and less time enjoying the beauty of the outdoors, maybe we could schedule some “screen free” days to remind us to unplug and get out into the open air.
I don’t believe there is a right or wrong way to do it, but it seems taking some time to think about it now might help guide us to focus more of our time on things we enjoy most, rater than blindly following the same path we have been on.
In my case, the computer is a trap into which I fall too often. I like to keep up with what is going on, and when I get home, I often automatically switch on my laptop. The reality is, much of that information is just electronic clutter.
I’d be much better off spending a day, or at least part of a day, away from computers.
Taking a brisk walk or reading a good book would both be better alternatives.
There are also friends with whom I always wish I spent more time, but don’t always manage to do so.
This might be a good opportunity to schedule some time to catch up with my cronies.
By doing so, I might avoid the unpleasantness of realizing another three months have gone by without a visit.
When we turn the page to begin a new year, we don’t know what excitement lies ahead, and that is part of the fun.
I have always believed in the value of adventures, and I am looking forward to turning the page and finding out what new adventures are out there waiting to fill up the blank days ahead.