Sunday, December 31

On the cusp of the New Year

It's that time of year. Prognosticators try to tell us what to expect in 2018 based on what they think they know from 2017. Yea, well, not counting on their accuracy beyond maybe January 2. There are others reminding us of all the good, bad, horrible, and spectacularly wonderful things that occurred in 2017. Remembrances of those who passed away. Pictures of noteworthy moments. Reflections upon reflections.

It's a natural reflex, I think, to reflect on the past, to think about the future, to imagine something different and better and more vibrant and less painful and more interesting.

We all cling to some essence or element of hope. We all want to believe there is hope that tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow will be better.

For many of us, that Hope is assured even though we're not always very good at showing it or living it.

For me, this time of the year is marked by some mundane traditions. I update the 2018 calendar to show birthdays and anniversaries. I go through my online sticky notes and bookmarked articles to see what is still is relevant and try to organize them in a way that I can actually tackle them with some intent. I try to figure out what that intent might be.

Today I'll be drafting the New Year's letter I hope to get out before Epiphany because I am realistic about easily I can be distracted by all of the things I want to read and think about. I'll draft some plans for the first of my 2018 professional blog posts and decide if I want to try to create weekly podcasts, too.

But mostly I'll reflect, think, pray, and read. . .and, practically speaking, stay warm because it is freakin' cold outside (-8F "real feel"). And watch some football because it is New Year's Eve Day.

I'll reach out to some family members and friends. I'll try not to spend too much time thinking about my hip surgery and my frustration that all I'd hoped to get done over the winter break isn't getting done and won't get done trying to acknowledge in the grand scheme of things vacuuming really isn't that important. I will do my best to be grateful for this time for reflection and thinking and reading and writing. I will do my best to take advantage of this time as it will help me mark the start of 2018--no more than a whisper of the turn of a page and the tick of a clock--as something significant and valuable to me and this life I've been given.

I'm not one to ignore the past, but I also don't dwell on it, w
ell, not any more. It's taken me a while to learn how to let go of the past and use it as a stepping stone to growth and change. I'm still working on developing patience and finding balance.

I have no idea what to expect of this afternoon let alone 2018 so I'll let each day run its course. My hope--not, please note, my resolution, is that I will, like Benjamin Franklin, think each morning on what good I can do each day and, each evening, reflect on what good I have done. I shall have to be gentle with myself and non-judgmental, which is not my nature. I shall have to be patient with myself which is, again, not my nature. And I shall have to hope that each day I will remember and hold tight to the fact that God's mercies are new every single morning. If I do nothing else, 2018 will be an amazingly good year.

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