Monday, December 31, 2007

Shall Old Acquaintance Be Forgot?

New Years Eve is a celebration of “out with the old, in with the new!” At midnight the day, the month, and the year flip over to the next notch. In one discrete and infinitesimally small point in time, 2007 will be over and a new year will begin. But that’s just how we measure time. Time itself and how we live through it is a continuum that we simply tick off as it flows by, and one moment, in general, is very much like the one right after it, barring cataclysmic shocks of any sort.

People are also analog. I can make a decision at one point in time, but it’s not so much a particle as the peak of a wave, with a build up of thought and feeling and sensing and observing all going into informing the decision I’m about to make, then all the work I have to do to put that decision into action and achieve an actual change.

Psychologically, the end of the year seems like a perfect time to say good bye to the bad habits of mind or body that have kept me from progressing and growing this year. And I do feel like I’ve been kept from growing in many ways. I’ve learned a lot, and I’ve done a lot, but I don’t feel like I’ve achieved anything. I’m still in very much the same place I was at the beginning of the year, if not even farther behind. And I didn’t want to be there this long.

Blogs are a wonderful thing. I just looked back to see if there were any New Year’s Resolutions I’d made, and maybe forgotten. I don’t see any. But I see a sort of optimism about this year in some of my posts and I just don’t feel like 2007 was what I hoped it would be, and maybe it’s being sick right now, but I don’t feel great about next year. I’ve got such a long way to go, and I don’t feel like I got anywhere this year.

I’m doing a few little things that may seem silly. I washed all the dishes left in my sink and have started the dishwasher. I’ve done a lot of laundry lately. So I’ll start the New Year with lots of clean clothes and dishes. There are other things I need to do for spring-cleaning, but those will have to wait until I purchase some organizing equipment. I’m taking Kevin’s suggestion, to, and I plan to burn some candles and watch this year melt away.

More profoundly, I’ve made some decisions, and I’m hoping that the time that has passed this year, while it hasn’t propelled me onward and upward, has been the slow building of a wave in which I’ve finally come to the point that these decisions are ready to be made, and that this next year will be a year of hard work to carry them out.

It’s a process, a continuum of constant assessment and growing conviction and steady effort. It’s analog. And it’s hard. I have a lot of bad habits, and I’m not going to get rid of them all at once, all in one moment. I’ve picked a few very personal hang-ups to try to overcome. I wish it were as simple as turning the page of the calendar. I wish that the old ways that I’m so well acquainted with were that easy to leave behind. That the past could be completely separated from the future at that tiny point in time, instead of always being connected to it and coloring it.

This New Year’s Eve, my hopes for the next few weeks, even months, are pretty modest. I already see ways in which the things I wanted to leave behind back in this year are going to bleed over into the next. Hopefully, though, I’ll get past that quickly. My real hope is that some New Year’s Eve years from now, this will seem far away and time long since gone by. That I’ll be so far away that I’ll have to work to remember the things holding me back, instead of having to work so hard to get away.

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