Join the throngs of writers who post their Slice of Life each Tuesday (or as often as we can!) Thanks to the Two Writing Teachers team who host this weekly.
What is the point of celebrating New Year, anyway?
If you think about it, this midnight is just like every other midnight. The endless procession of seconds, minutes, and hours continues. That one brief instant in time is not inherently different. It's not magical. It holds no real power over us or our futures. We watch the ball drop, or we slumber peacefully while others celebrate.
Why is it important to have a point where we can close the door on the past, and gaze into the future?
Why do we feel a compulsion to set goals that we know we will break; sometimes before the suns sinks on the very first evening?
I'm not sure if it is something human nature compels us to do, or if we have been trained into this ritual by the yearly celebration. What I do know is that the chance to look back on something that is "done" and plan ahead for a fresh start is one of the reasons I love teaching. When I had jobs where I felt like a hamster on a wheel - with no true end in sight - it was disheartening. I like the chance to see my students grow, change, and move on. I like the chance to say, "well, how will I do it this time?"
So, as 2012 ends (about 3 hours from the moment I'm typing this now), I celebrate an ending. I look back on a year well lived. A year of making goals. A year of reaching some of those goals (I'm looking at you, Goodreads). A year of not reaching others. (Shhh... tell my elliptical I moved to another state.) A year of time with my husband, sharing a life of rewarding work and comfort. A year of watching my sons grow into young men, with some stumbles along the way.
I play the game and set new goals for myself. I'll eat better, exercise more, and try to enjoy each moment for what it gives me. I'll make more time for friends.
I'll be more patient with my husband and children. (Excuse me a moment, I think I need to go yell at the boys. They are fighting over the bathroom.)
I'll learn to accept myself - but still dye the grey out of my hair.
I'll set goals, but be gentle with myself as I work to reach them. Living each moment is more important than the pages I read, the pounds I shed, or the words I type. Being an example to my children - in and out of school - is showing them how to handle both success and failure with grace and good humor.