Forget the Gregorian, Julian, and Roman calendars and the idea that the new year begins on January 1. Celebrating the "New Year" in January, it seems to me, is contrary to nature. January is the middle of winter, the time of year to conserve resources, make it through, protect ourselves. It looks inward, not out. If we forget those artificial, man-made calendars and look to nature instead, autumn is perhaps the best time to start thinking towards a new year, to start gathering hopes!
And let's not use the word resolution! In the context of the new year, the term makes me cringe. It seems to hold a sense of striving and, brings the assumed understanding that there is a good possibility that we will fail to achieve those often far-too-defined goals. Resolution seems focus on the process of achieving or maintaining the goal, and can loose the original intent. I prefer to use the word hope instead of resolution! There is less pressure and more room for positive emotion and grace.
Last year, I started a new tradition. While walking in the woods one sunny, fall day, I was caught up in the excitement of the acorns falling like rain all around me. Taking a leap! Ready to start something new! Something big! Through the wisdom and instinct of nature rather than a particular day the calendar, the acorns knew it was time to leap. That day, I decided that when I returned home, I would create a list of hopes for the next four seasons. I would write anything and everything that came to mind. I came up with sixty-four, eclectic hopes. This year when the acorns fell again, I made a new list.
So here is a suggestion for you. Go spend some time outside, preferably by some trees. Pick up a few acorns, if you can find them. Hold them in your hands and realize the potential that they, and you, have for the new year. Then go home and write your list. Freestyle! Whatever comes into your mind. Don't edit. Just let it flow because now is the time to gather hopes!
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