When you think about it, New Year’s Day is just another day. It is kind of like a birthday, when we really aren’t a year older than we were the day before, but just one day older. But, like a birthday, New Year’s Day is special. It represents a milestone, a road marker, a blank page, a chance for a new beginning or fresh start.
Last January I bought a journal book – you know, the kind of book that has blank pages and no writing. While I didn’t write in it every day, I recorded most days, writing my thoughts, feelings, observations, and other items of interest at the time as the days of the year ticked by. I really tried to be honest and truthful in my writing. I remember keeping a journal many years ago where I wrote what I thought people would want to read if they were to stumble across it after I left this life. I happened to find the journal among some of my possessions that made their way to my new home, and was astounded that I actually wrote some of the things I did. I didn’t remember thinking or feeling the way the pages described my life at that time. I didn’t even recognize the author! How could I have been so dishonest? In a display of setting things straight, I threw away the old journal, knowing that it definitely wasn’t something I wanted another person to someday read, and began on a new adventure in journal writing.
On New Year’s Day morning, I sat down with a cup of coffee in a spot of the living room that was sunlit, letting the sunbeams warm my back, and wrote down my thoughts for the new year. I then went back to Page 1 and began reviewing 2014. As I read, I remembered my feelings as I had written them down, and laughed at some of the funny things I chose to include in this compilation of days. I also began seeing the growth and changes that happened day by day to me as I traveled through 2014. I entered the year badly scarred and battered from the worst two years of my life. I was newly divorced, setting up a home for myself and my little dog, Sunshine, and trying to make ends meet on a very limited budget. I had tried my luck at a new relationship, only to come to the realization at the beginning of the year that it was not what I wanted, he was not who I wanted, and the relationship wasn’t a healthy one. As my journal reminded me, January was truly a month of endings and beginnings. Continuing reading, I saw myself with fresh eyes, as I recalled the days of loneliness and fear, as well as the days of serendipitous discoveries and surprises. I witnessed through my own words my healing and centering. As I finished reading my journal, I closed the book and my eyes, and contemplated the blank pages that would be filled with my words and thoughts in this new year.
Yes, it is just another day. But New Year’s invites us to examine where we have been, where we are, and where we are going. Like every day, it begins with a blank page that we will fill with life and with living. It is a time to pause to examine our course, make adjustments if needed in the direction we are pointed in, and to plan for this next leg of our trip. It is indeed a milestone and a road marker. It is a day to take a deep breath and set our course.
I am going to continue my journal. There are still plenty of empty pages in my book. It will be interesting to see next January where my path has led me during 2015.
A new year, a new day, a blank page, and honesty. It’s going to be interesting.