I love beginnings. New books, new towns, new classes, new years. Heck, I even like starting a new game of scrabble. As you might expect, January is one of my favorite months because I love the possibilities that a whole new year brings. In 2014, I can be anything. I can take up bird watching or mud wrestling. I can dye my hair blue. I can learn Portuguese. Obviously the list is infinite. It’s not what I pick that matters, but rather the very idea that this year is a fresh piece of paper. I will write something on it, and whatever it is, years later I will be telling people how I started that way back in 2014. So I might as well make that something good.
Maybe this is why I don’t get the whole the resolution thing. Why confine yourself to a few obvious improvements that you know you ought to be making anyway? Yeah, yeah, we’re all going to get more exercise and eat healthier. Seriously, I hope we all do. But 2014 is going to be so much more exciting than that. So why not resolve to just be better. You know. Do more things. Act more like you should. Take better care of yourself and others and let the specific hows and whens work themselves out as the year unfolds.
Meanwhile, it can’t hurt to be open to the exciting choices that are going to come marching by like a parade of pink elephants dancing outside your window. There are some animals you should definitely pass on. You’ll know which ones they are when you see them. Others will be like cayenne pepper. Try just a pinch, but not too much. Luckily, a good bit of the menagerie will be well worth sampling. From bubble gum bubbles to bongo drum banging, you and I both will get opportunities to try new things in 2014 and say “Wow. I liked that.”
January first is, of course a perfectly arbitrary time to start a year. Plenty of other traditions celebrate other calendars, leaving the truly unfettered with the possibility of starting a New Year again on January 31 (Chinese New Year) May 15 (Buddhist New Year) September 25 (Jewish New Year) October 25 (Islamic New Year) to name just a few. I know that it’s radical, but one can even go so far as to consider every day a fresh start!