Falling in Love with a New Year

There can be a harshness to the way we start a new year.

We’ve resolved to workout more and eat fewer sweets, be kinder, calmer, earlier, or one of the other self-improvement -er’s. We will better some lesser part of ourselves.

It’s not the gentlest way to enter into the earth’s next orbit around the sun.

So what would it mean to fall in love with the new year?

In my life, the changes that stick are ones that were wrought by love. I wasn’t chasing shiny wishes to be slender or thought of in a certain way; I was driven, even surged forward by a passion to live more fully than I have been.

And when I stumbled, as we do in our humanness, it is love that picked me up off the ground, not shame or humiliation that can kick me when I’m down.

So, again, what would it mean for us to fall in love with the new year? Would it mean granting ourselves a full night’s sleep? Making time for kayaking, cabinetry, poetry, tinkering and puttering? Reining in our commitments to others and ramping up our commitments to ourselves?

Falling in love doesn’t mean unceasing bliss. Love involves vulnerability, boundaries, and uncertainty; saying no to things we like so we can say yes to things we love. Love asks that we work with it, on it, maintain it, nurture it.

Falling in love with the year doesn’t mean it will be an easy year. But it will be a meaningful one. One that matters to us. One where we grew stronger from our mistakes and wiser from our struggles.

And that seems like a worthwhile way to spend the earth’s next orbit around the sun.

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