To me, the physical representation of the calendar is vertical. December is at the bottom, and January is at the top. So at the end of the year, in my mind’s eye, when we move from December 31 to January 1, I figuratively look “up” to the start of January, on the next page, and see the 365 days spread ahead, down the hill, the gradual slide of time and days and months and moments into 2011. I’ve tried to step back and actually “see” the calendar for what it is- arbitrary, invented, just a way for humans to keep track of an ordered universe that is anything but ordered. I can’t do it. January looks different to me. She is tall and slim and sleek and cold and silvery and shiny. She reflects what the future could be, what it might be, but she is empty and unmoving. Whereas December to me is full and fat and warm and red, the glowing fade of a sunset, the edges spilling over with celebrations and what-could-have-beens and the softened edges of memories. December looks back and captures everything the way we want to see it. January shows us the way we want to be.
I’ve never made resolutions. I never felt the need and I am not an extreme person, so the idea that I’d promise to work out everyday or lose 10 pounds or stop eating chocolate or organize my closet or whatever didn’t make much sense to me. I knew on December 15th I wouldn’t do those things, so being January 1 didn’t make me want to do those things either. I also usually find January depressing. I love the holidays and January seems like such a buzz kill, it’s cold but not for any fun holiday reasons, everyone is busy being “good” and boring, there is really nothing to look forward to until about March.
This year, however, I feel differently. Christmas was a bit of a letdown for me, due to my own busyness and stress. I haven’t been focusing on what I want to. All of a sudden, for the first time, January seems necessary. I’m ready for January this year, ready for her blank slate and clutter clearing and refocusing. And this year, I made not resolutions exactly, but commitments. I’m re-crossing the Rubicon.
Commitments to myself, for myself, all about writing.
Commitments to myself and to my family about slowing down and savoring life.
Seems like in life, we are always starting over in some way or another. For example, I haven’t written nearly as much as I intended to in the past 6 months, haven’t gotten nearly as far as I wanted. Instead of feeling defeated and frustrated, maybe I just need a better perspective. Maybe it’s not starting over, it’s just starting better. I know how to do it better now.
So here’s to a shiny and blank New Year, ready to be filled with new adventures, new experiences, and falling down and getting back up, new babies ( T and A and K and U!), a new move (sister), new expectations and disappointments and reflections, new philosophies and embracing new detours, new stories and new friends, new laughter and new seasons. While we move forward, we cannot leave the past behind, so here’s to your New Year also being filled with old friends and favorite routines and rituals becoming traditions.
I’m coming for you, cold January lady. I’m gonna wipe the blank slate right off your face.
Happy New Year!!!