The New Year is a convenient illusion millions choose to adopt. There are other traditions for measuring the earth's passage around the sun. For example, Chinese New Year (January 25) and Rosh Hashana (September 18).
There are benefits to observing hitting the cosmic reset button. New Year Resolutions encourage people to cast off bad habits, and to adopt a healthier more prosperous lifestyle.
Sometimes life gets off track due to outside circumstances, not our own laziness.
A word keeps popping into my mind. Intentional. I don't want to look back on another year where I have been dragged from activity to appointment to obligation as an unwilling participant. I want to live mindfully and deliberately. What do you do when life refuses to cooperate with your careful plans, and comes at you like a freight train in a narrow tunnel?
As if in response to my intention, this is how our New Year began:
Neither I nor my husband was interested in staying up until midnight. We watched a Russian science fiction movie, then retired early. We wanted to start the year fresh and rested. In that light state of having just fallen asleep, both of us awakened abruptly to loud noise. Banging and yelling.
A glowing orb floated by our window. We peeked out the curtain, but it was gone. We ran out on the deck in our pajamas. I wondered whether I was seeing a UFO - proof of alien visitation. But no.
Our neighbor and his teen daughter were hastily hooking up a watering hose. The noises were the sounds of city-wide celebration, and of our neighbors trying to prevent a fire. The orb was a paper lantern with a votive candle. It had escaped. The lantern had drifted past our window, then into another neighbor's tree.
It was now midnight, so we watched the fireworks on top of Pikes Peak. The votive slowly extinguished. No fire started. That's good, because there was no way water from that hose could reach that glowing orb.
Our New Year did not begin the way we planned. Here we are, a week into the year, and I am still struggling to make life go the direction I want. The day job and family keep interfering. Yet I need both in my life.
There are things I can control: my exercise program, my free time activities, and my writing. I'm marking a calendar when I accomplish my personal goals. Even if it's only 15 minutes a day, I am finding time to do the things I need to do for me. The calendar helps reinforce my progress.
I wish you a New Year in which you fulfill your intentionally crafted plans for a healthier future.
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