As a teen, I remember counting down the seconds — ten! nine! eight! — to midnight on New Year’s Eve. I clung to each one, lingered over it, never wanted to let it go. Those seconds were portals into my future past, remnants of a beautiful year.
I was a nostalgic kid.
As an adult, little has changed, except . . . I’ve seen enough New Years to know that there isn’t some catastrophic, year-annihilating boom at the stroke of midnight on January 1st. 2014 isn’t a pile a rubble and ash to be sorted through and mourned. Rather, 2014 is what it is — the past — just as 6:30 this morning is now the past.
If there is one thing not worth crying over, it is the passing of time. Why stress over the inevitable? The thing to worry about is the wasting of time.
I’ve wasted a lot of time in my life. We all have. And I’d say I’ll stop in the new year — promise to do better — but I know it’d be a lie. The “New Year, New You” idea is a sham. I’m the same me I was yesterday; how can I be “all new” today? And the answer is: I can’t. I can’t change who I am in a moment because it is the experience of years that has made me “me.” And that is not something to be ashamed of.
But what can I do in the new year? I’ve mentioned previously that I’m not one set New Year’s resolutions. That doesn’t mean, however, that I’m not one to set goals. This year I want to read and write more, travel more, start graduate school (or at least get accepted), and stress less. I want to exercise more, think more, dream more, love more.
This world can be a cold, hard place, but whether it stays that way is up to us. We all have a choice every day. What will you choose?
Happy New Year, everyone!!