I’ve taken a critical stance on the whole notion of the new year, this year, it turns out.
Tending to believe that the calendar is, to a large degree, arbitrary, I’ve tried to remind you that external timelines pale in comparison to your inner, intuitive clock. I’ve wanted to create content that alleviates your anxiety and diminishes the pressure that can be so common this time of year.
Time continues, I’ve said.
Life goes as it has been going, I’ve written.
But there’s a caveat that accompanies that sentiment. It isn’t that I want to turn the tables on you, but that I feel obliged to also remind you that unless we actively decide to change things, life will invariably, with some amount of The Unexpected thrown in there for good measure, stay the same. If we let it.
If you believe that there will be a glorious point in the future the clouds will part, and the seas will stand still, and the flurry of activity of your family will pause, and the myriad responsibilities you have will momentarily abate; and you will recognize this moment as your Chance to finally address the aspect of your life that’s been slowly diminishing your wellbeing for years, or to finally face the Big Scary, or to, at long last, answer the question of what a joyful, fulfilling life really looks like for you, you will likely never make those changes or explore that different way of being, or adopt those new habits.
Minutes will keep expiring in a sixty second cycle, the kids will need to be fed breakfast again tomorrow morning, and your boss will expect that report on her desk next Friday.
You and I are on a moving walkway that keeps us headed wherever we’re going. It doesn’t make stops; it’s not a bus. “Here, hop off so you can stand still and figure everything out,” is a sentence it never says.
Part of our work here is to figure out how to make space for our needs and desires in the midst of motion. We must learn how to decode clarity from complex scenarios, and how to declare a moment that arrives looking like any other as one bound for momentous shifts.
We have to understand that if we experience everyday life as overwhelming, we will always feel as though we are drowning. And the more we believe this, the harder it becomes for us to fathom our ability to take on another challenge.
A project that will ultimately bring us more fulfillment and contentment than we have ever before experienced often first appears as one that merely adds to our load. And perhaps it will be that, in the outset.
But if we can just make peace with that fact; if we can remember that pretty much everything we’ve undertaken in the past has been launched in conditions that were decidedly not ideal; if we can recall that some of the best decisions we’ve ever made have been instantaneous, fleeting feelings of clarity, and if we rely mainly on hope and faith, then we can open ourselves up to the possibility that every moment has the capacity to be the start of something new.