Monday, January 2, 2012


     I love fresh starts. I love the fresh start of the new year, the new week, the new day, and the new attitude. I love the way our cyclical life works. I love that our emotional and physical slates are swept clean every night when we sleep, so that every morning we have an opportunity to do things differently, and to see and experience our lives differently. And if we add to that the fresh adventure of a whole new calendar year, we are double blessed with fresh start opportunity.
     What often happens, however, especially in the face of New Year's resolutions, is that the early excitement of change loses it's excitement, or we flub up our perfect record of exceptional behavior, or one day or situation doesn't go exactly the way we think it needs to, so we throw up our hands and give up on the whole journey. We return to our old ways with a shrug and a sense of futility. We think "What's the use? If we can't be perfect, why bother at all?"
     I have learned that change doesn't happen in a flashing bolt of lightning. We are not suddenly transformed by our sheer intention to be other than we are. It's much like turning an enormous cruise ship. It turns only one tiny angle of degree at a time, and in the turning process, it appears to be heading off in multiple new directions, and not going the way we think it should at all. It hardly appears to be moving. But eventually, if the wheel stays hard over, it does complete the turn, and heads out straight again in the new direction and steadily, gaining speed and power as the course maintains.
     We are like that. Meaningful change takes time to integrate. But it's worth it, and as many times as we fumble, let's pick ourselves up. Let's start over and start over, whatever it takes. And let's remember that what seems like starting over may actually be turning yet another angle of degree. Let's commit to the turn and be grateful for fresh starts.

Every day is a fresh start and anything is possible. I can change the way I see things, and the way I react, and the way I treat myself and others. I can live better every day that I live.