What does today mean?

It is the first day of the new year. This day means so many different things. To some it is a change to forget about the mistakes and bad situations from last year. When I was growing up, my dad and I had a tradition of setting fire to last year’s calendar. Looking back on it I understand why we did it. We wanted to forget that year and erase it. I don’t feel that way anymore.

Last year wasn’t bad. Off the top of my head I cannot think of anything so horrible that would make me want to forget it ever happened. Not that it was all roses and bliss. But if I have to think very hard to remember what was so terrible, then really it must not have been that bad. The year my wife passed on, 2012, that is one of those years that I would not mind forgetting. But last year, not so much.

January 1st could be just another day on the calendar. One might say that it is no different that any other day and the fact that we give it so much importance and recognition is circumstantial at best. I tend to overuse the example, but if I was stranded on a deserted island, January 1st or New Years Day would have very little significance. It might be nothing more than another scratch on a cave wall or cut on a tree trunk to mark the passing of time as I light fires and make marks in the sand hoping for a rescue ship or plane.

If January 1st is a day to start over and make resolutions, then every second we live is also an opportunity for the same. It is never too late to start over. Admittedly, if it was so easy to do this then every one would. Every time we made a poor decision or mistake we would chuck it to the past and begin anew. It should be that easy. Unfortunately, for most people, it is not that simple. Well, not for me anyway. If it was, I would have started a long time ago. But I am older and wiser now, and my circumstances are very different from what they were several years ago. Even though in many areas I have a lot less choices available to me, at the same time, I have a lot more and in the next few years perhaps I will have even more.

And so, today, I will make no resolutions. I will not commit to any promises to myself or to anyone else. Those are hollow and nothing more than opening the door to opportunities for failure and disappointment. What I will do is work on how I think about my life and how I perceive the world around me. Every second of every minute we live has the potential for change and for something good. Being afraid has taught me a lot over the years but I don’t care to be afraid anymore. I have a pretty good grasp of what I do not like. Now it is time to find out what I do like and might like if I tried it. The best could be yet to come.