Ever since I’ve been very small, I’ve always thought of the months of the year as the hours on a clock. January, the start of the year, is where one o’clock would be, and as the year passes I can see the clock hands sweeping past the months to return to December at the top of the year.
This isn’t a traditional view of time, I know; think of a timeline and it’s linear – a long line of events stretching backwards and forwards along the years. I like to think of it as a clock, though, because each year you get to start again at the top, to make a fresh start and do some things the same and others differently. Perhaps it’s to do with being a gardener; each year you can look at your successes and failures and know that you’ll get a chance to do it all again next season.
From the first stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, I can see the New Year stretching ahead of me; it’s like standing at the edge of a diving board waiting to launch out into the unknown. It’s never unknown, though is it; already there are events written on next year’s calendar – birthdays, school trips, meetings – but there is still scope for something exciting, unknown, an adventure to happen. This could be the year of the Really Big Adventure.
I have a friend who dreads the New Year. “Same old, same old,” she says, with more than a hint of despair. Same old hateful job, same old endless commute, same old worries about money, her children, not having enough time. I think it would be easy for any of us to greet the New Year with that attitude; let’s be honest, it’s not been a great 2011 for lots of people for one reason or another, but if it’s true that you get what you wish for, then isn’t a New Year an opportunity to wish for something else? I may be fanciful, but I think that this time of year is more magical than any other, and I like to think that more wishes come true so it’s important to wish for the right things.
A book I’ve been reading recently suggests that you can influence your wishes by a positive mental attitude – the ‘like attracts like’ principle. It sounds easy but like most things that sound easy, I expect it takes more work than you imagine. My resolution this year will be to try to be positive, to imagine life getting better for everyone, and to do what I can to make my wishes come true. As for my friend, well, “Same old, same old” doesn’t sound like a good wish to me, so I’ll wish for better times for her and hope that this one comes true.