We stayed up until midnight Central Time to ring in the new year. This is atypical for Tim and I, because (a) we live on the East Coast, (b) we’re usually in bed by 9:30 PM, and (c) we are hopelessly apathetic about New Year’s Eve.
But when you’ve driven all the way to Chicago to spend the holiday with family you rarely see, you’re willing to do things you rarely do. And along the way, you make some discoveries.
For example, I’ve discovered that I’m not apathetic about New Year’s Eve. Last night, as we stood in a circle, glasses raised, counting down the last seconds of 2014, the surge of emotion that overtook me was far from neutral.
Here we go again, I thought, and I was suddenly very, very tired. Unlike the revelers onscreen, the transition from one year to the next felt burdensome and discouraging. Looking back at 2014, I saw nothing but failure and regret. Looking ahead to 2015, I anticipated nothing but striving and defeat.
How’s that for holiday spirit?
I acknowledge my outlook is somewhat hindered by stress, fatigue, and illness. It’s been a tough week/month/year/decade. Today my perspectacles are on the bit straighter, but mostly I’m ignoring the fact that it’s January 1st.
With every passing year I get worse. I’m not just talking about being fatter, droopier, and ridiculously fragile. The body stuff is to be expected with age, but what gets me is how far I am from the person I want to be – the person I’m called to be. I’ve lost patience, temper, and discipline. Instead of each year bringing less of me and more of Christ, I feel like the exchange is working in the opposite direction.
A New Year’s resolution can’t fix that. At this point in my life, New Year’s resolutions are just shackles ready to bind me with planned failure.
What I need isn’t resolution, it’s resurrection.
A friend recently asked me if I was going to take the One Word challenge this year. I like the concept, choosing just one word to focus on for the year, attempting to steer myself that direction in small, subtle ways rather than setting hard and fast rules.
But I can’t settle on a word. Gratitude? Perspective? Hope? I need them all.
How are you feeling this New Year’s Day, friends?