There Is No Such Thing as a New Year

The new year. There are lists of resolutions. Parties to go to. A new calendar to buy. It’s easy to propel yourself forward through it, working hard to forget what you didn’t do the year before. So many projects left unfinished, so many broken promises to yourself or others.

I don’t think laziness or failure is the problem here. I think it’s the way we mark off our time. I don’t like this roll-over model. I don’t like this clock-bound mode of thinking. That time is a resource hoarded. We spend it like money. I’m not the first, and sure as hell not the last to say so.

So forget New Year’s. Forget it. Bury it under a mountain of something else. Pull back on the reins. Slow down. Look back longly instead: you had a long road from beginning to now. You have done many things. You have learned many things. Instead of breaking it down into little one year chunks and berating yourself for what you have not accomplished (or what you know you’ll say you’ll accomplish and won’t in the next year), look to the arc of your whole life. What marrow have you sucked from its bones?

And if you come up dry… today, TODAY do something strange and delicious and powerful. Volunteer. Write your first poem in years. Draw that comic strip you always wanted to. Just one. Not all the strips. Just one. Why put off until tomorrow what you could be reveling in right now? Because there is right now, or there is never. Not a new year, but a new instant. And you’re here. And why not?

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