Musings On New Year

I’ve never been keen on the beginning of a new year. For self-employed and self-motivated by necessity creative folks, it seems to me there is always a bit of a pile up in one’s mind of tasks, long and short, which need attending to. I’m sure you’ll know what yours are. So as I’ve been checking in with other people’s blogs this week, I’ve been having mixed reactions. Everyone has been circumspect rather than too starry-eyed which I did appreciate and which exemplifies the thoughtfulness of the creative people I happen to follow. There have been reflections on the previous year in respect to what has been achieved, as well as lists of what is to be attempted in the coming year. This reflection and planning is of course very natural, so I do understand why it is so widespread and I do it myself – but here’s the thing, I don’t like it.

Funnily enough the opening paragraph of my drafted novel, After Black, addresses the unpleasant feelings of a brand new year, as the story begins in a new year:

‘Christmas was over and she was glad to see the back of it. It was now Monday morning and a fresh start in the new year of 1990. An early January drizzle was spitting onto the kitchen window, a mirror of blackness intensified by the harsh electric light blazing from inside. The outer darkness shrouded the grizzled winter garden and fields beyond. Janet always used to find January a raw kind of month, feeling exposed to the glassy edges of another year ahead. Any hopes she dared to foster always seemed to be swatted like flies.’

The description of the rawness and glassy edges of January come from my own feelings over the years, which I felt would fit my character’s perspective well. After the rosy glow of pre-Christmas anticipations, after the suspended animation between Christmas and New Year, and then after New Year’s celebrations, whether you go to a party or read a book (as I did ;>)), there is a sense of energy expended before an onslaught of adverts begins for bargain three piece suites, holidays in the sun, and vibrapower machines to jiggle and shake away the spread you’ve put on after enjoying your Christmas feast. And then the new year resolutions you may have made, feel as if they should begin in earnest – while the days are still short and dark, while we are still in the winter season, while energy is still flagging. And it’s this that doesn’t seem to fit. As Galen Pearl suggests in her aptly entitled blog post  ‘Not so fast’,  wouldn’t a new year be better off beginning in the spring? Now I can totally understand this idea because spring brings a renewal and a bursting forth of new energy and new growth in the natural world, which can better promote these ‘got forth and do’ feelings within us, our own cycles being interwoven with the seasons. Instead, we ask ourselves ‘to go forth and do’ in what is a season of rest and hibernation.

So if you feel this way, if you feel the mismatch, how do you tackle a new year? The shoulds, the oughts, the musts? Well, I think I’ll go with Galen on this one. I’m going to try to see this time of year as nature intended :

Galen says here:

But now I see the wisdom of quiet reflection at the beginning of something new. At the beginning of a race, the runners get in position and there is a moment of stillness before they are released to surge forward.

So as we begin this new year with excitement and anticipation, let’s take a deep breath and ground ourselves. And see what happens.

This sounds an excellent approach to me and instead of reflecting upon the past, we can reflect upon what is to come, what we are going to begin doing this year, or what we wish to develop. And also take each day as it comes, each day is of equal importance in our lives. For me it’s not about anniversaries – the only person who remembers me and my hubby’s wedding anniversary is my mother, I think of my father every day, not just on the day he died – so you get the idea. Make each day count.

A new year ritual I do go through is choosing a new diary. A week to a view. Not to write literary reflections in, but to simply note what I do with each day. And as I do this, my taste has changed over the last few years over what my diary’s cover should look like. And I’ve noticed that back in 2012, 2013, I was going for blue or black, but then slowly began choosing colour, earthy brown, purple, and then more recently fluffy floral in stark contrast to the corporate plains of previous years. And also weirdly enough, this changing colour sequence has been very much in synch with me and my emotions. The end of 2012 was the beginning of my midlife transition, a turbulent time for me in so many respects. But since then the diary covers have kind of moved with me into more colour, more life, more me. And I have even allowed myself to go up in size this year (only in diary terms of course :>))! Whatever next?

So to conclude, may your days count at any time of year and I wish you all good things.

About lynnefisher

Writer and visual artist living in Scotland, INFJ type Writer's blog: Art: Twitter @writeartblog Writers page Facebook Artists page Facebook
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12 Responses to Musings On New Year

  1. Resolutions have never been for me. I strongly believe: if you want to do something you will no matter the time of year. Naturally we cannot help it being a marker when we do consider our lives past and future but other than that it is simply another day.

    I do not keep a diary but found interesting how you reflect your changing outlooks by means of their covers.

    May your year hold all you wish.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lynnefisher says:

      Thank you for sharing this, TR. I am in total agreement with you. As for diary changes, somehow choosing a cover becomes significant through the choices that there are and then one is brought up against where one is at right now! Wishing you what you will too :>)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ari says:

    What a great post. While I do reflect on the year gone, just as it’s ending I love looking forward towards the opportunities of the new year.

    I do the same… select a diary for tracking my daily work, it’s a comforting ritual, finding the right one. I also fill it with rainbow coloured pens so that each day is bright and colourful 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Libby Sommer says:

    thank you for your good wishes for 2019 Lynne. glad to see those diaries of yours are reflecting your joie de vivre as you welcome each new year.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I enjoyed reading this post very much Lynne – and find myself in agreement with your thoughts expressed here. For me Christmas and New Year come in summer – a time when we are out in the warmth and the air and the light, We are busy doing the fun things of life. As unsuitable a time for new beginnings as is mid winter. Spring is always a time of hope and awakening consciousness, a time for new beginnings naturally I think. It all has to do with the light for while the weather plays its part, that seems to be changing patterns to such a degree – in my part of the world anyway – that it is mainly the light that affects my relationship to the season now. I haven’t celebrated new year since my 20’s and even then I found it uncomfortable and false. Every day is a new beginning and every evening is a time for review and all I ever ask is how did I do today? Was I kind enough or was I mean and did I make judgements? Did I react or respond, how did I feel as I went through my day and how did I leave others feeling? That’s enough for me to work on 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • lynnefisher says:

      Thank you for sharing this. Much appreciated! I was wondering how different climates felt about Christmas and New Year. I agree with your points about the level of light relationships with the seasons and i’m so pleased not to be alone in thinking new year celebrations false. As you say every day is a new beginning and every day can be reviewed for the values and actions that really count for oneself and others. My hubby and I have just visited a lady who has some battery operated flickering candles – what a lovely ambience, so will adding these to our living room soon!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. New Year in Spring is a great idea! And I love the opening paragraph of the novel, looking forward to reading more.

    Liked by 1 person

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