“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.” ~Edith Lovejoy Pierce
It’s almost here: 2017 is fast approaching. Some of us are excited by the prospect of a fresh start and it’s hard to miss the signs that a New Year is coming.
The news has been counting down the top news stories, viral videos, and commercials of 2016.
There’s everyone talking about New Year’s plans and where we will be for the 60 second countdown to the big ball drop.
And just yesterday a local radio station was counting down the top songs of all time. Yes, all time.
All this counting down has made me realize something.
We are doing it wrong.
In the midst of all the counting down, and looking ahead to the New Year, we may be forgetting to stop and fully reflect on what this last year means for us.
I get it. The idea of counting down and leaping towards the future is an appealing one. I’ve heard lots of people say that 2016 wasn’t a favorite and they can’t wait for it to be over. So it feels good to countdown and transport ourselves to the New Year ahead—one that we hope will be better than what we are leaving behind.
But, when we rush to what’s next we forget to acknowledge what’s come. When our minds flash forward to what’s ahead, we forget to be in the now.
When we forget to be in the now, we miss connections, opportunities and important lessons.
We don’t need to jump ahead so fast. There will be plenty of time to think about 2017 and what we wish for it.
It’s called January.
The word January derives from Latin and comes from the word Janus—the Roman god who presided over doors and beginnings.
In other words, January is the perfect time to begin.
There is no need to rush the beginning now.
There, in January, as we stand at and enter a new doorway illuminated with fresh possibilities, we can dedicate days for planning, goal setting, and resolution making.
We can take our time to welcome in the new beginning without feeling rushed to slam the door on the past.
For these final days of 2016 maybe we should just be fully present and thoughtful of what this year means for us. Maybe we should acknowledge our blessings, and find beauty in even the toughest days.
If you can’t find the beauty in those dark days, here’s a hint: you endured. You are here, ready to begin again, to keep going and to keep growing. (Tweet that!)
That is the most magnificent, magical blessing of all. That is worth honoring and holding in your heart. Don’t be so busy counting down that you forget to acknowledge that.
Yes, countdown to a New Year. Put all your good luck rituals in place. It’s exciting to think of what’s ahead. But don’t forget to stop, pause and count all your blessings, your dreams realized, your lessons learned, and your happiest-fill-your-heart-moments.
You might just find that counting up can be a lot more fun than counting down.