When The Clock Strikes Midnight

As I sit down to write my first blog post for 2017, it is New Year’s Eve and I just finished my last walk of 2016!

It is funny how we like to commemorate change – whether it is the end of a year or starting a new adventure. Every time I moved (in my early adult years, it was often), I would say “this is…”

  • My last run on the boulevard (or at the beach or in the park)
  • My last bagel here
  • My last beer there
  • My last dinner with friends at a special place

Then as I packed up my car and drove away, I would look in the rear view mirror at who and what I had left behind – sometimes shedding a tear, but most often overcome with the giddiness of nervous anticipation to what lay ahead. But as luck would have it, more than a few times, I returned to the city or state that I left and resumed some of my usual activities. No, it wasn’t exactly the same but a number of those “last” times turned out really not to be the last.

Which is why I find New Year’s such an oddity. At the end of each year, we turn the calendar page and within a millisecond of the clock striking midnight, everything is supposed to be different. The reality is that most of us are creatures of habit. What we did on December 30 or 31 we most likely will continue to do on January 2 or 3.

And that can be a good thing.

Because it is not often that we need to change every, single thing in our lives. At once. Forever. For the last time.

Full disclosure – as I said in last week’s post, I do evaluate the previous year and subsequently plan for the coming year. Mostly, it is because I’m a business owner and the way we tally the score always shows up at this time of year. It is time to look at the plan and see what worked (and didn’t) and where I succeeded, making sure my new plan is going to help me achieve my new goals for the coming year. However, the reality is that I actually look at my numbers pretty often throughout the year and the final score is never unknown to me – thrilling or disappointing perhaps, but definitely not a surprise.

Each time I have moved, I was able to find a new place to run or walk. It allowed me to explore a new community and while the location or circumstances or different (bundling up in below freezing weather or walking during the cool early morning hours to avoid a hot Arizona sun), I still created that experience because it was an integral part of who I was. I also made new friends, created new accomplishments and made new memories. Sometimes I created a better life – sometimes I fell down. But mainly, the things that were important to me stayed true.

So, today, in anticipating that tiny slip of time that rocks us from one year to the next, this is what I know.

It is not all the changes we want in our lives that makes ringing in a New Year so momentous.  It is the understanding that we already have what we need to make our lives whole and the willingness to follow through as we turn the calendar page or embrace a daunting new adventure that makes our promises a success.

And that is why tomorrow or the next day, I will have my first walk of 2017.

Just like today. And the day before.


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