The laugh’s on me:
  this year’s man
    is last year’s man.

            ~Ching An
A new year, a new decade.  Several of my friends have groused recently about new year’s celebrations.  Why make a big deal out of an arbitrary “turning point”?  It’s just a calendar date!  And I’ve felt the same way sometimes too.  New Year’s parties, sure; Times Square (even on TV), nope.
Others look at the first day of the new year as a completely fresh start, a genuinely new year.  The strike of midnight wipes the slate.  Out come the journals and lists, with reflections on the past year and resolutions for the new year.  Some very accomplished people I know set goals—monthly, quarterly, whatever—for the coming year.  And a few of them actually always attain those goals.
I’m writing this with about 45 minutes to go (in our time zone), listening to five amazing young girls running wild and getting ready to go outside and light fireworks and bang on pots and pans and scream “Happy New Year!”  I’ll ask them, but I’m pretty sure none of them have set any actual resolutions for 2010—yet their excitement is the most genuine I’ve known.  (Maybe it’s just staying up late and going outside and making lots of noise without getting yelled at by the neighbors?)
I’ve fallen somewhere in the middle this new year.  I enjoy the celebration, and parties with fires and lights and fireworks in the dead of Winter, so soon after the Solstice—so I’m not in the Bah, Humbug! crowd.  But nor have I drawn up a list of resolutions.  I do, though, have a few things rattling around that I’d like to work on, and an ineffable sense that the turning of a “new year” is as good a time as any to get going on them.
And maybe that’s my middle ground.  It’s as good a time as any, and any time is a good time.  January 1st  is a great day to start sitting longer each day, get more exercise, try to be more present when talking to my family and friends and while at the office.  But so are June 15th, and October 30th, and December 21st.   They’re all good days to let go of fear, drop off body and mind, and deepen my practice.
Wherever you fall in the celebrating-New-Year spectrum, I hope that 2010 is filled with beauty and delight.

Photo by Creativity+ Timothy K Hamilton