back to the start again

I’ve not always been a big fan of the New Year. It always seemed quite a headache to organise the party – where, who, what. And then stay up all night trying to make it “a night to remember” and then sleeping your way through the whole of the first day of the year, only to emerge bleary eyed on the 2nd January wondering what resolutions to make and break within two weeks this year.

But it’s grown on me. Maybe because I’ve got more realistic expectations now: it’s a chance to have an enjoyable evening with friends, eating, drinking, entertaining the smattering of kids that have come along in the meantime and getting to kiss my best friend at midnight (that’s my husband by the way).

But I think it’s also because, although definitely still in the “young” category, I’m starting to feel the years moving by quicker and I don’t want to miss out on all they have to offer by way of experiences, joys, challenges, new friends and places.

I like the feeling of taking off the old year like you’d take off an old coat, a bit worn out and frayed at the edges, perhaps even torn or burnt by some experiences, but also with pockets stuffed with mementoes of good times and new lessons learnt. And so it’s a bitter-sweet moment to take it off and hang it up.

But then you turn and there’s this brand new coat for you to wear. And maybe it’s a perfect fit, or maybe you need to grow into this one a bit before it starts to feel good. But right now it’s clean and perfect, not a stitch out of place, ready to be worn. With it on you’ll experience the heat of love and of anger, the cold of loneliness, the rain of tears falling, the warmth of good company and friendship, the wind of change. And at the end of the year you will take it off just as you did with this last year and know that for all the joys and difficulties, you lived a good year.

I’m excited for this new year. I see changes coming, only on the horizon now but approaching slowly. And others will come suddenly and unexpectedly. Other things won’t change, which I may feel glad or frustrated by. But I feel sure today that I can face all these moments with confidence and anticipation- the book of proverbs in the Bible describes a woman who is clothed with strength and dignity, who can laugh at the days to come and she is my inspiration at the start of this new year.

What about you? Is the new year a time for hopefulness or worry?

The Lord your God carried you, as a man carries his son, in all the way you went until you came to this place. Deut. 1:31
You crown the year with Your good blessings, and You leave abundance in Your wake. Psalm 65:11