A new year is a new opportunity. A clean slate if you will. A new beginning with an expanse of unknown consequences and adventure lying ahead of us to do with what we will.
It’s not that what was there before has disappeared and no longer requires dealing with, or that we magically can see any further ahead or have any more control over what lies there than we did previously, but the start of a new year is somehow a psychological reset point at which we get to re-evaluate and decide differently.
What the year ahead will contain for us – what adventures it will inspire, who it will bring into our lives, and the twists and turns it will generate – is no more predictable than any year. What IS different is the experience we start this new year with.
The last two years on our planet have been extraordinary. They have forced us to slow down and reconsider ourselves and the world around us in ways we’d previously not thought to, had time to, or been pushed to. The past two years have asked us to look inside ourselves for our perspectives and our answers, and to reconsider both. Our status quo has been tested on every level and if we weren’t willing and able to shift our thinking and our comfort zones, we’ve been shoved to do so.
We are here. Standing. Changed. Grown, and rising.
We’ve unlocked inner strengths we didn’t know we had and challenged ourselves in ways we’d not imagined a few years ago. We’ve learned new methods, new perspectives, new skills, and new people. We’ve dealt with loss (of routine, of the known, of ourselves, of security, of loved ones) and we’ve navigated more change and challenge in a short space of time than perhaps ever before in our lifetimes.
A new year on the calendar is nothing more than a line someone drew in the sand and then enforced as fact as that calendar was adopted. A new year doesn’t expunge what has gone before. It does, however, provide a point at which a clear expanse of time stretches ahead and the choices you may make within that time seem to have been reset. Funnily enough, the same can be said for every new day if we recognise it and welcome it as such.
Before we hurtle off into 2022 and allow it to take control of us, it’s worth pausing for a moment to consider who we have become, for better or worse, and who we’d like to go forward as this year. We arrive here with a backpack of previous experience – all of which is valuable somehow. WE get to decide who we will be this year. WE get to decide how we will make decisions in line with what we choose for ourselves. WE get to decide how we respond to what lies ahead as it comes. WE get to decide what we stand for.
With 2020 and 2021 behind us, we’ve very literally trained for this. We’ve experimented with what it feels like to slow down and speed up, with reassessment of our priorities, goals, and principles. We’ve tested ourselves and strengthened when we’ve been found wanting. We’ve experienced and implemented compassion in new ways. We’ve learned more about ourselves and those around us – some of it has been hard learning, and all of it useful.
A new year lies ahead. We’ve trained for this. Who will you be and what will you do with it?
By Christen Killick
January 3rd, 2022