“Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, ‘It will be happier.'”
~Alfred Lord Tenneyson
Good morning, 2017. Please, grab a cup of coffee, settle in, and get comfortable. We have a lot of work to do but today, let’s get to know one another.
In the bustle of holiday life last week, I read an email about starting the new year. It suggested that whatever it is you want to do with your brand new set of blank pages, that you do that thing on New Year’s Day. If you want to exercise more, get out there and walk today. If you want to read more, crack a spine on a new book. If you want to strengthen relationships, you probably have some phone calls to make and some coffee to drink. (sounds perfect to me)
It’s all about intention. Showing 2017 that you mean business by showing up on day 1.
So this morning, I woke before my children and came here to write. Later, I plan to do some yoga, drag my family out on a walk, read a little, play with my kids a little, and reach out to friends and family.
I’m starting this year with energy and a little excitement. I love a blank page and a fresh start. I love how today feels newer and clearer, like fertile ground for doing something big. I love that we’re free from thinking about 2016 as our ‘now.’ Not because I believe the year was the worst. I’ve read enough articles proving otherwise and can remember enough sweet spots to know it was not all bad. But because, along the way, those numbers began to feel like a curse that could only be lifted when one of them turned. And, finally, here we are.
But I’m not starting this year with hope. That’s new for me. Every other year, I’ve felt hope smiling in the threshold and I’ve held onto those whispers of happiness. But this year, I don’t feel much hope. Yesterday, as I undecorated our tree, tucking each ornament shaped memory into it’s box, I entertained some pretty dark thoughts about what life might be like, for me personally and for the world, when the time comes to bring them out again. In some of the final hours of 2016, my mind traveled to the worst places, where hope struggles. This year, hope feels misleading. It feels passive. It’s just not enough.
“And now we welcome the new year. Full of things that have never been.”
~Rainer Maria Rike
This year, instead, I’m feeling like there’s more I need to do actively. Less quiet intention, less thinking my way through things. More action, more engagement. Time to show up with more things that I have never done to meet a year full of things that have never been.
I didn’t choose a word last year and I didn’t take resolution making as seriously as I normally do. So, superstitiously, I’m taking it all very seriously this year. I’ve resolved specific things – more yoga, more reading, more exercise, more time with family. I’ve got some very serious writing goals too.
And I’ve chosen two words. Truth – because lack of truth characterized all of the worst parts of 2016, for me personally and the world. Because throughout the year, I saw people altering and obfuscating the truth and creating ‘new ones’ that weren’t true at all. Because truth is something that we (those of us who can see it) need to hold onto this year more than ever. In 2017, I will pursue, hold, and fight for truth.
And Open. Because last year, I closed off. I retreated and burrowed. I said a lot of ‘no.’ It served a purpose and was right for its time, but I’ve decided that time is over. This year, I intend to be open to as much as possible. I intend to say more ‘yes.’ I kind of picture myself walking around with arms open wide and every part of me open and receptive to life. Cheesy? Yes. But turns out you don’t need hope to make New Year’s cheesy.
Happy 2017 to you and the ones you love. May it be full of truth, openness, love, life, and everything you wish for it.
“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language, and next year’s words await another voice.”
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