The post-Christmas cleanup has begun. Torn paper is stuffed into garbage bags, boxes are crushed for recycling, ribbon twists and twirls its way under sofas to be discovered later. Children play with their toys, testing out then quickly discarding each as they move to the next. Sweet treats and cookies, over which we labored for weeks leading up to this day suddenly look stale and wasted. Unlike Thanksgiving, when we create meals around leftovers, the remaining Christmas treats are scowled upon and easily tossed in the trash as we anticipate healthier eating in the new year.
The new year, with its promises of punctuality, organization, menu planning, exercise routines, exchange of bad habits for good, financial control, quality time, and goals of ultimate perfection looms around the corner. We anticipate scraping off the old, dead skin of last year for a fresh start to life. Leaving behind all that we dislike of ourselves for better versions, improvement, more perfection. By sticking to our resolutions, we can be that which we believe we really should be.
Because, what we are, how we act, what we eat, say, and do isn’t enough, right? Who we were in 2013 was not all that we were meant to be in this world. The old version of yourself needs to change – eat better, exercise more, journal daily, save money. Yes, the new you, the 2014 version will be the person you want to be. Healthier, thinner, more introspective and assertive, friendlier, wealthier. Out with the old; in with the new.
The old. The late, overweight, impatient, slovenly, disorganized you who carried through 365 days of ups and downs. You, who survived the bad days, health concerns, financial struggles, rush hours, and home repairs, are not good enough to face another 365, right? Or maybe you are. You, who conquered the rough patches, family disagreements, travel debacles, power outages, and wardrobe malfunctions. Perhaps you, with all your faults, are capable of tackling another year as you are. Last year, and the year before, and the year before that each prepared you a little bit to be exactly who you are now, the truly improved you. Ready to take on another year.
Sure, you might be a few minutes late to work again in pants that are a little snug. Maybe you’ll order Chinese take-out for dinner or stay up too late. We could all save a bit more than we spend. But you are ready, not just to survive, but to conquer. Just as you did last year. So, clean up the wrapping paper piles and toss out the old cookies, then look around at your life. Your beautiful, messy life that carried you thus far and made you exactly who you are meant to be to face this, your life.