Another year comes to a close….they seem to be merging into one another. I think back to New Years last year…or even the year before that. It’s all so vivid, as if it only happened yesterday. The years go by like a film in fast forward with the scenes blurring because of the pace.
Each year, I stride into January with Big Dreams and High Hopes. A small voice in my head cheers the mantra, “This is the year! This is the year!” I can’t help but be swept up in the exhilarating annual revel of redemption and expectation. After all, who doesn’t love a second chance?
Processing my New Year this way — looking both backward and forward, layering my hopes and plans for the New Year on top of the successes and missteps of the old one — forces me to take a longer view of things — to look at the “old” year and the new one not as distinct entities that must be judged against each other, but as interwoven pieces of an unbroken continuum.
Likewise, I no longer feel the need to reinvent myself. I am not a series of annual iterations. There is no 2016 Neal vs a 2017 Neal. There’s just me.
Last year I abandoned my list of resolutions in favor of just One Word. The idea of One Word is to get rid of your list and to choose a single word to focus on for a whole year. “One word that sums up who you want to be and how you want to live.”
In 2016, I chose the word “Wholehearted.” It was a big word that encompassed an entire way of looking at the world. I’m not finished with wholeheartedness — becoming wholehearted is a lifelong journey — but I have chosen a new word to represent 2017. My word is “Mindfulness”.
Nostalgia. It’s a tricky quagmire, for people like me to get lost in. I need it. It fuels me, it sustains me, it gives me a sense of self and identity. And yet, I must keep it from overwhelming me since it is after all, recycled experience. So I pull on a light nostalgia jacket (it’s soft-lined) and head into the grand adventure of the future. Even if it looks the same, I don’t know it right now. And that is what makes it worth living into. Besides, I got a Heart of Gold and it’s powered by the Improbability Drive.
So before the sun sets in this day, before the memories fade in this year, before the networks get jammed… Happy New Year !
PS- 2017 will be the make or break year for me both personally as well as professionally that will pave the way to my future endeavours. Scared? yeah for now !!