My feeling about the arrival of a new year has changed and, yes, grown over time. Now that I am in my 40s, I find myself less anxious about it and more reflective about it.
I used to think of New Year's as a fixed defined moment in which we together pass from one year to another, a moment full of possibility but also full of anxiety. Then I realized that the movement from 11:59 p.m. December 31 to 12:00 midnight January 1 happens on a rolling basis until the 24 time zones find themselves in the new year. With that realization, I have come to recognize the midnight moment as a moment within the many moments of natural transition that exist over the course of a lifetime. It is our construction of time and the time-counting labels we use that mark the moment of New Year.
With that new found point of view, the end of one year and the arrival of a new one is not a catastrophic moment but rather a moment filled with opportunity. The most obvious opportunity is to reflect, give thanks, praise, bless, and renew.
The opportunity to renew brings us to the age-old notion of "New Year's resolutions." Yes, I am sure that we all have our experience with resolutions made, resolutions broken, and resolutions repeated every year hoping for success.
These past few days I have been thinking quite a lot about resolutions, not as a ritual but as opportunity. The new year's moment offers a meaningful invitation to renewal and this blog post by Sister Anne Flanagan, fsp offers a healthy view on the New Year's resolution presented by Blessed Fr. James Alberione, ssp. Supplementing that "resolution framework" is this article by Fr. Jim Martin, sj offering 12 guideposts for daily living (lessons he wishes he learned at age 25 now that he turned 50).
For 2011, I am going to strive to integrate Fr. Alberione's model with Fr. Jim's 12 guideposts for living. The outcome? Hopefully together with a renewed and peaceful spirit will yield a Lisa who is more fully Lisa as God intends her to be.
We shall see... In the meantime, as the waters of time come to wash away the final hours of 2010 and the dawn rises on 2011, I wish you peace, health, contentment, and all that is good.
Labels: new beginnings, resolutions, transitions