Thursday, December 31, 2015



A new year is upon us. All across the world, people are considering ways to improve their lives ... quit this, start that ... slow down, speed up ... buy this, sell that ... fall in love, fall out of love. Oh, it's a miracle we survive at all.

So many changes. So many of you in a hurry to get somewhere, or worse, damned determined not to get anywhere. Hey, who knows? Maybe, you're already there.

Yes, another year stumbles in the side door with the cat. You've probably done your worst for the year, probably done your best. Now, you get to start over. Woo-hoo ...

Who can say what the new year will bring? It's sort of a mystery, isn't it? Sort of like you're on the cusp of something that you can't completely fathom. Sort of like poking your nose into the unknown, a little like Pandora, when she decided she might have just a wee peek inside her box, and BLAM! ... all the world's evils came shooting out of there like someone had thrown a lit cigar butt into a case of Roman candles.

Maybe that's why we celebrate New Year's with a fireworks spectacular. Must be some kind of distant memory.

Oh dear. Time, time, time. Whose idea was it to measure time? And what makes New Year's such a grand celebration? I mean a ball drops in Times Square and people go ga-ga, and for a second or two, it's a good trick.

After all, you wake up New Year's Day full of shit and vinegar, and you promise yourself that this and that is about to change, that maybe you'll stop hiding from life and finally "get it on," be a better somebody, take the bull by the horns and finally ... finally be the person you always dreamt of being. No more insecurities. No more feelings of inadequacy.

So what happens? After an hour or so, your head aches, your back hurts, you keep getting voicemail when you call that special someone you kissed at midnight at the New Year's party, and suddenly you start to whip up a whole new batch of insecurities and inadequacies, ones that have a startling resemblance to the ones that you thought you'd just dumped.

The old memories return, the old habits refuse to find the road out of town, and the physical twitches, tucks, cracks, crinkles, and droops keep peeking back at you in the bathroom mirror. Quite honestly, the new you looks far too much like the old you. You slip back into the familiar, the comfortable hiding place where you at least feel safe from harm, without realising that you're really just hiding from yourself, which may be the greatest harm of all.

No matter what anyone says, celebrating a New Year is not like pushing the reset button. You don't suddenly jump back 10, 20, or 30 years in age, and you don't get any do-overs. Do you honestly think that you'll wake to some great change tomorrow morning? Same house, same family, same friends, same dog that craps on the hallway carpet. Same old, same old.

What a New Year does do is try to show you that time waits for no one. As one minute slips by, another begins, as one hour, one day, one month, one year ends, another begins. No stops along the way, no pause button to push. Tick, tick, tick ... time moves forward relentlessly, and it doesn't give a damn if you're filling the minutes, hours, days, months and years with love, life and happiness or if you're simply a spectator watching the parade as it passes by.

I think New Year's offers you a chance, as momentary as that chance may be, to discover something about yourself. That something is almost too vague and too mysterious to explain. The best that I can do is to suggest that this moment, this very moment as you read this, is now gone forever. In the same way, every next moment, every next breath, every next wish, every next hope and dream slips into the past as soon as you experience it. But wait! Just as suddenly as these pass, another moment appears, another breath leaves you, your wishes, your hopes and your dreams renew themselves over and over again. Like the second hand on the clock in the hall, nothing stops.

All you have to do is grab hold of every moment that passes, feel the joy or the pain that each moment brings, and let yourself move forward, always forward to the next moment. Be present. Be aware. Accept what is, and use every experience, no matter how good or bad, no matter how fulfilling or disappointing, to guide you. Be as resolute as a leaf of grass, and adapt to the changing winds that buffet you this way or that.

It's always a new minute, hour, day, month, year. Learn from such a simple fact the simple truth that, with every passing moment, you will always be a new you.

Happy New Year ... Happy New You!



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