What is it about the change from December 31 to January 1 each year that seems so compelling? I've thought about this over time and it seems to me that there is no more actual significance to this 48 hour period than there is to any other during the year. And yet, we tend to feel that this particular midnight signifies an important moment. It’s all in the mind, right?
There seems to be a common human need for a way to mark a new beginning and New Year’s is a handy option and so, in spite of the fact that it is merely a mark on a specific calendar [that not all of the world even uses], we tend to view this as a significant moment. We may “clean house” — I find myself reorganizing closets and cupboards this year as I do most Januarys. We may do a personal audit and start on a new regimen of vitamins, diet, or exercise. We may decide to quit bad habits — smoking comes to mind. And probably this compulsion to evaluate our lives and make them better is a good impulse, no matter how artificial the mark on the calendar is.
Probably the most celebrated ritual of January is the New Year’s Resolution list [which may include all of the things mentioned above and more]. In the past I have found that almost all my resolutions are difficult within two weeks and broken by the end of the first month. Ask me about it in June and I won’t even remember what they were. No matter how intentional I may have been and how sincerely I “meant to do it,” New Year’s Resolutions have a bad history with me and I suspect many of you. So, this year I’m not making any. I like to think that over the course of 2012 I may find some things I’d like to change in my life and after I think about them for awhile and plan a course of action, I may embark on a makeover plan that will stay the course. It has worked for me in the past far better than an arbitrary attempt to do something at this moment that although good for me, I don’t really want to do!
I do think I’ll keep going through the closets and cupboards though. Who knows I might even get to the garage before the year is out!
Whatever you do about New Year’s Resolutions, my hope is that you will be well and prosper in 2012. And that we together at UU Church of Anaheim may make a difference in the world.