We count our birthdays and mark them with celebration. What is different is that we celebrate our new years but never count them. That seems strange but understandable given that we are never asked how many new years we have celebrated.
Why care? Because I find it interesting that our habit of celebrating a new year is filled with promises, goals, and sentences that begin with “I will” and end with “this year”. But there is never a component of this holiday or any other where we celebrate looking back over the year that is just ending to see all that we have done as well as reflect on things we struggled with.
It’s true that we know what happened during the past year. But what can be rewarding is to try to help build context around what you have or have not done to better understand who you are, what your strengths are, as well as your weaknesses.
To remember the things we have already started that need to be built on in the new year rather than to run from them to something new that looks shiny.
To be grateful for the things that did go well while being generous with your time and person to help others who have not been as fortunate.
To figure out for ourselves when we need to adjust our expectations and our course versus where we need more help or effort to achieve what we set out to do long ago.
The challenge is to put our smart phones down long enough to breathe and focus on things in our life that matter but for which we take for granted.
You see counting our new years will help each of us relive our successes and begin to see the path in our life that makes us unique, productive and generous. It is upon this path, together with the new years that have already past, that will give us the context to choose wisely the things we dream of doing in this new year.
The foundation we have already set in years past remains hidden from us until we begin to count our new years with reflection giving us much hope in the new year for so much more.