Archived Story

New year gives people a fresh start in life

Published 10:32am Monday, December 30, 2013

Column: Something About Nothing, by Julie Seedorf

I am not a good resolution maker. If I make a resolution I usually break it early in the year.

Recently as I was driving back from an appointment, my thoughts went to the New Year’s Eves in my past. I remembered being a teenager so long ago and celebrating New Year’s Eve with my friends, some of whom now no longer grace the earth with their presence. I remembered the New Year’s Eves as a young married couple celebrating with our friends and partying well into the night.

Now we are usually snuggled in our beds by the time the midnight rolls around. I am sometimes amazed that the new year starts without us celebrating. How dare it begin without us? Shouldn’t it wait until we have our eyes open again? Couldn’t we move the celebration and time from midnight to morning?

In my musings, I also wondered what my 98-year-old aunt would say about her New Year’s past. Did they celebrate? Does she look forward to another year at her age?

As I have gotten older my New Year’s Eve celebration has changed and become quieter and perhaps more thoughtful. There is something very meaningful to contemplate thinking about what has passed and what is to come.

People celebrate New Year’s Eve to ring out the old and usher in the hope of the new.

This year, I am looking at the new year as a new beginning to a new chapter in my life. I have retired from my computer business and hope to write full time as an author and as a freelance writer for newspapers and magazines. It is a scary proposition and I chose the New Year to start this scary new venture. Maybe I will have to add another parttime job to the mix, but it feels good to look at this change in my life at the beginning of a new year.

There is a song called “Feeling Good.” One of the lines in the song says “It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day; it’s a new life for me.” We could change that line to say, “It’s a new dawn; it’s a new year; it’s a new life for me.”

Instead of resolutions we could look at a new year as a new beginning for each of us.

We seem to have the idea that a good year is one where everything that should happen to us is good and wonderful. It isn’t. Life is good and bad mixed together. It happens every year, the good and the bad. Some years are better than others, but if we are starting a new year it means we got through, we are tough and there are many surprises waiting for us in the new year.

I am not making any resolutions, but I can tell you the things I would like to accomplish in my own life. I would like to become a better person this year. I would like to be more compassionate, less judgmental and more adventurous. I would like to become less fearful of letting go of the old and trying something new. I would like to eat better, and exercise more. Most of all, I would like to become a person that is a good example for my grandchildren. I would like to make them proud. I would like them to know they are loved.

Will I accomplish all of those things, probably not? Will I know if I become a better person and become more compassionate, probably not? Will I know if I become more adventurous? It will depend on each person’s definition of adventurous. Mine would probably be navigating traffic in the cities. It could be eating liver and onions. Or it might be something so small, that to those that know me, it is not even seen.

No resolutions, just wishes on how to live my life better. Will I succeed? I don’t know.

It is time for each of us to look at the old, start the new and possibly ask ourselves, for this new year, “What would I attempt to do if I knew I could not fail?” We will never know unless we try. I am starting this new year with a different career. It is a brand-new start. That is what I would do if I could not fail. But failure is always a possibility, without trying I will never know. If I fail, I will learn something along the way and then I would have to ask myself, “How can this lesson be failure when with that failure, I have a chance to start anew again?”

A friend gave me a gift this week, and it says;

“Live your dream. Do what you love. Cherish every moment. Be brave. Take risks. Create your own happiness. Have an open mind and heart. Make a real difference. Never give up. Dream big. Be fearless. Make every moment count. Today is the day.”

I will go a little further with that. It is a new year. This year is the year.

The first thing I did, right before the new year to ensure that I will smile? I took a risk. It might turn heads. It might make people cringe, but it makes me smile. My new ringtone for my iPhone, “What does the Fox Say? Ring-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding!

“Gering-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding!

“Gering-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding!”

Happy New Year!

 

Wells resident Julie Seedorf’s column appears every Monday. Send email to her at thecolumn@bevcomm.net. Her Facebook page is www.facebook.com/sprinklednotes.