New Year’s Day thoughts and a poem by Susan Coolidge

Today is the first day of 2022. I want to be saying ‘good-bye and good riddance’ to 2021 and then affirming all my good intentions for making 2022 better. Except the past two years have leached away my optimism and drained my hope, so that all I hear is a voice in my head saying,

‘It’s just another day. It’s not a threshold to something new or the jettisoning of something old. It’s just a date in a diary. A consensual delusion about a new start. It’s a door to nowhere. It’s not real.’

I hate hearing myself say stuff like that, mostly because it sounds so rational and sensible and yet it’s so disempowering. It makes me want to go back to bed and give up.

The thing about that particular voice in my head is that it belongs to my teenage self and he’s never grown up.

Of course today is just a day.

So?

Days are where I live.

Days are real.

It’s up to me to decide what to do with them.

Most days I’m doing well if I’m up, washed, dressed and ready to be in motion doing something that needs to be done.

Some days, I decide to do nothing but relax. On days like that, I wrap myself in my imagination, as if it was a duvet, and make a nest.

Today is a day for taking stock. For looking at the patterns in my life, the milestones that I’ve passed or am about to meet and for asking what I like and what I want to change about the shape of my days.

OK, so 1st January is as arbitrary as a door in the middle of a mountain path. But its function is the same: to make me pause and take stock and check my direction. What’s wrong with that?

Susan Coolidge’s poem, ‘New Every Morning’ wasn’t written about New Year’s Day. She is more optimistic than that. She gives herself permission to make every day a new beginning.

I’m not sure I have the resolve to do that every day but I’m willing to give it a shot today and do what I can to have a Happy New Year.

I wish you a Happy New Year too and I hope you enjoy Susan Coolidge’s poem.

New Every Morning by Susan Coolidge

Every day is a fresh beginning,
Listen my soul to the glad refrain,
And, spite of old sorrows
And older sinning,
Troubles forecasted 
And possible pain,
Take heart with the day and begin again.

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