Feeling My Way Toward a New Year

In theory, Boxing Day (The day after Christmas) is a great day to spend cleaning up, sorting, giving unneeded things away, and generally settling the house after the holiday celebrations. Some years that is how I spend it. This year I aggressively did very little at all. I put together a puzzle, played a couple of games, took a nap, watched a couple of shows. I chose that path because I was listening to my mind, heart, and body, all of which were telling me that I needed rest. So I rested. It felt like yesterday still belonged to Christmas. I woke up this morning solidly in the space between Christmas and New Years. This is my week to drift a little bit and contemplate the year to come.

I’ve actually had my eye on 2022 for almost a month now. I’ve been stewing and thinking about how I want next year to be different. This year and the year prior have melded into a sort of amorphous lump in my mind. Memories are muddled, some of them pulled closer than is accurate, others pushed much further into the past than they actually belong. It doesn’t help that 2019 lapped over into half of January 2020, so that most of that month felt like it belonged to the year prior. We had my daughter’s wedding, and all of the stress of wedding planning and execution felt like it belonged in 2019 even though the wedding landed beautifully in mid-January. Then the transition from 2020 to 2021 did the same thing, with anxieties over the election, capitol hill riots, and inauguration slopping all the way through January. This year I want a clean break. I want 2021 to stay contained inside its calendar year and to start having a different year on January 1st. I’ve been thinking a lot about how to make that happen.

In quest of that goal, I’ve been asking myself a lot of questions. How do I make 2022 feel distinct even while it is likely to be impacted with ongoing pandemic which might want to muddle it in with the two years prior? What do I want to be different in my daily schedules? What to I want to make more time for? What do I want to spend less energy doing? How would I spend my time if I didn’t have to worry about paying bills? Since I do have to worry about paying bills, how do I still make some room in my life for the answers to the prior question? I’m still gathering answers for most of these questions. Collecting the answers into a mental basket and letting them bump into each other and change each other to see what emerges. It might result in me rearranging my weekly appointments scheduling, or in me rearranging my physical spaces. It might result in concrete, stated goals and resolutions or it might result in an intention or feeling that I hold in my mind while I move into next year. I’m still waiting to see what will emerge.

For today, I have some pieces of regular life to pick up and get done (packages won’t ship themselves) and I’ve got bits of celebration to start cleaning up and putting away. I’m approaching it all in a leisurely way as is appropriate in this liminal space between the holiday and the new year.