New Year’s is such a strange holiday.
Because, on the one hand, it’s of bafflingly little importance. We stay up until midnight to ring in the new year, and then nothing really happens. In the grand scheme of things, it’s just another day – the exact same as yesterday, and the day before. We don’t suddenly get a do-over, we don’t magically become new and improved people. The earth just starts on a new revolution around the sun and that’s that.
But, at the same time, doesn’t it feel oddly important? When the clock strikes twelve, and the new year comes in, don’t you suddenly feel a little inspired? A little bit new? As though all the sins of your past belong to last year, and this is a fresh start. This is a chance to be better, to do better, to learn more. You don’t have to be the same person that you were in 2016, because now, 2017 has come around to change everything.
And maybe part of that comes from our understanding of just how much can change in a year. A year may be short in the grand scheme of our lives (after all, depending on where/how/when we live, we get approximately eighty of them), but all it takes is one year for everything to change. In one year, we can meet the love of our lives. In one year, we can discover a dream or a talent. In one year, we can finally see everything that we’ve worked so hard to create come into place. In one year, we can both conceive and give birth to an entirely new human being, one that may not even be a thought in our minds currently. Who knows where we’ll be a year from now, because, speaking personally here, I know for damned sure that I am not the same person now that I was a year ago.
And I think New Year’s is a reminder of that. It comes around once a year, not to change anything, technically, but to re-inspire us to change our lives for the better, to strive to make 2017 a better year than 2016 was. Maybe it doesn’t always work out the way we expect it to. Maybe we discover that we don’t have the resolve to keep our New Year’s resolutions after all. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t countless unforeseen adventures coming for us in the next year, and today is a day to be excited for their arrival.