Greetings, reader friends. The holiday break has broken up with us. The parties are over, the weekend has ended. Like a guy who’s only in town for a week, and only interested in us for that week, the holiday has dumped us hastily and unceremoniously on the threshold of this first Monday morning of 2011.
For me 2010 wasn’t a bad year. A hard year, yes, but not a bad one. Then again, I’m a person who volunteers to attempt to write a novel in a month most years, and has managed to last nigh-twenty years or so in a marriage I entered as a teenager. So I have some perverse love of hard things.
So if you’re here reading this, you survived 2010. Regardless of what the year threw at you, like Gloria Gaynor, you decided you would survive, and here you are. My congratulations to you. Sometimes, that’s the best we can do towards chalking up something approximating a win. “This year did not literally beat me to death.”
If that’s the kind of 2010 you had, I’m sorry. I’ve been there. Those years suck.
So now we sit, rubbing our eyes and adjusting to the light of a morning we weren’t really prepared for, no matter how many resolutions we made in twilight hours. No matter how many hours of our precious holiday we squandered attempting to declutter our houses/lives, we arrive at 2011 the same old us that we were at midnight December 31.
Accepting that is a good first step.
We want to know what this new year will bring. It’s like the new potential romance we catch out of the corner of our eye, before we’re well and truly over the brutal holiday fling break up. We eye it with an equal mix of suspicion and hope, fear and fascination. Could this one be THE ONE?
It could very well be.
But we won’t know it till much later. Till after we’ve committed to this new year. Till after we’ve put our hearts on our sleeves and marched ourselves back onto the front lines of risk and joy and effort and despair. We won’t know till after we’ve put some skin in the game.
We want to know, so we make resolutions, as if we can resolve the future into being different from the past. (Haven’t you noticed that you make very similar ones before starting any new relationship? “I swear, this time I’m not going to…”)
We want to know, so we make goals. We promise ourselves a list of goodies the year will bring that would make Santa stutter.
But we don’t know. Only God knows. And it’s information He doles out on a need to know basis. Right now, you don’t need to know. In fact, you need to *not* know.
Because it’s mainly the mystery that drives us forward.