January 1st is such an arbitrary date to start again or feel like things must cange from here on in – because our calendar changes then suddenly we’re all propelled into this idea that everything is going to be different, or we can start again. In truth we can do that any day of the year we like – One of the opening prayers in Morning Prayer says;
The night has passed and the day lies open before us; let us pray with one heart and one mind
and we are reminded in Lamentations 3:22-23;
The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning.
I always feel that September is more of a new year than January, it’s years and years of academic conditioning that’s done that, but also there is something about taking up the threads of life again after the summer months that resonates with people even if they are not tied to school terms either as a pupil, student, teacher or parent.
Often I find the days between Christmas & New Year really hard work, and this extends into New Year’s Eve & Day too, there is a peculiar kind of melancholy that can creep over one, I know it;s not just me because I’ve talked about it with friends too. This year it was wonderfully conspicuous by its absence, the whole holiday has been, though busy, also peaceful and restful. I wonder how much of it has to do with expectations? We had family here for Christmas, and had planned nothing for the days after and for New Year, we both felt that after this year we didn’t need to be planning a big dinner or a party or even leaving the house, it wasn’t going to matter if it was just us & Jools Holland on the 31st!
As it happened John & May called and said they were travelling back north then and could they come & stay over New Year, and it was lovely, the children got on well as ever, we ate well but not stressfully, we talked, we went for a walk yesterday. It was almost unplanned, and maybe all the better for it.
This doesn’t still explain the relaxed & peaceful approach to NY this year – I think that has more to do with being at peace with where I am and what I’m doing in life – sure it’s stressy ( essay deadlines….!) but it’s right where I’m supposed to be.
2008 has been a rough year in many ways, and also an amazingly brilliant one. It’s tempting to say; I hope 2009 is “more ordinary” or “better” or ” happier” but just because the numbers have clicked round once isn’t going to change anything, I can’t label a year. I just have to live each day whether it’s 31st December or January 1st, by His grace, and for His glory. That’s my challenge:-)