Happy New Year.
I like a New Year that begins on a Thursday. To me, for whom the beginning of anything significant is always a Monday (quitting chocolate, starting a new exercise regime, breathing new life into my blog etc.), a New Year that begins on a Thursday is really just a lovely four-day introduction to the Official New Year's Day - the first Monday of the year. Despite their reputations, Mondays are really days of great promise. Arguably, any normal Monday is like a mini-New Year where, with the benefit of a weekend for distance and perspective, all our intentions of becoming a better, stronger, kinder, more punctual etc. person shimmer promisingly ahead. Potentially, the wrongs of the previous week may be redeemed and we can almost see the warm glow of success and personal-fulfilment as ours for the taking by Friday. Is it any surprise, then, that the first Monday of the whole year be seen as a wondrous, potential-filled day from which to springboard joyously off into the year ahead?
Alright, so maybe I'm talking it up a bit. However, that doesn't belie the psychological power of having a few goes at beginning the New Year. I use these "lead-up" days as a time for trying out ideas, practising New Year's resolutions and intentions, and for deciding which are going to work and which need to be quietly let go before I'm disastrously bound to them for the year. Happiness, I believe, must surely be the outcome of such a reasonable approach to beginning a new year.
So here I am, the first Monday of the New Year and I have whittled my New Year's resolutions down to just two: to be courageous and creative in all my endeavours for the year to come. What I like about these resolute creatures is that they can join in with my activities in each and every day - from the mundane, everyday challenges of life in the prairies (like walking the dog in sub-sub-zero temperatures) to the specific, artistic challenges of finding my voice and my love as a creator of things.
To this end, I ordered myself down to my workroom today with the explicit edict to create something, anything, that would rise to my expectations of myself and honour the beginning of the new, promise-filled year ahead. To my surprise, I came up with this gentle soul.
Still to be finished but a lovely start nevertheless.
(PS: I may be thrown for a complete loop in 2018 when the first Monday and the first day of the year coincide but I at least have nine years to prepare myself for that eventuality.)