Happy new year, Nifty readers, and welcome to the year 2016!
Like many of you, I’ve been reflecting on the year that has just passed and wondering what resolutions, if any, I should attempt to keep over the next 365 days (it’s a leap year so there are still 365 days left after today–bonus day! Yippee!). My resolutions, if I were to make any, would be fairly similar to the resolutions I had last year, and the year before (be kind, write more, keep my apartment tidy and organized). They’re good goals to try for and I’ll probably just keep working at them but to be honest I’m not sure about this whole “New Year’s Resolution” thing anymore.
January 1 is just an arbitrary day–it isn’t even the start of the new year for every religion, or every culture. It’s just a marker, one 24-hour point on the 940 million-km elliptical trail that is our 365.25-day journey around the sun. Just one point, out of an infinitesimal number of possible points. Any day on that orbit could be important, and any tiny millisecond could have more significance than days or months or even years of living so far.
It’s great to start your new life, or new good habit, or new hobby, on January 1 if that’s the day you decide to do it. But every other day is just as good, and any day can be an important one, a milestone day. Any day can be a day by which you count out your life. For example, I can count a particular facet of my life from the day I met my husband, or from our first date, or the day we moved in together, or from the day we got engaged, or the day we were married. I can count different journeys in my life from the day I began at my current job, or the day I started my masters degree. I can pull back further, and count from the day I moved to BC, or the day I was finally free of a particularly toxic relationship for good, or the day I began university, or the day I met my best friend. I can count from the day of my birth if I want to–or any other day.
What I’m saying is that any and every day is a perfect day to start your new life, or to leave behind something that is hurting you, or to try something you’ve never tried before. Any and every day could be the day that something wonderful happens–that some new person or opportunity enters your life. You don’t need to wait for January 1 to become sober, you don’t need to wait for Valentine’s Day to tell your partner you love them. You don’t need to wait for the end of the week, end of the month, end of the semester, etc. to try that new thing or to get back to that great hobby you really enjoy.
Having an aspiration or seeking happiness or becoming a better person is not about January 1. It’s about every single day you ever have for the rest of your life, whether you have a lot of days left or a comparative few. Any day could be the start of something amazing, and if you find that you have not kept to your resolutions as you would have liked, any day is a perfect day to start trying again.