And Now the New Year Really Begins

by Diane Sweeney on January 13, 2017


Starting everything new in week one of the new year is overwhelming to me.

Our traditions, and the distance of family and friends, tend to keep us traveling or entertaining from Christmas to New Year’s Day. I’d much rather focus on enjoying the company of others as opposed to ‘getting ready’ to hit the ground running on January 1.

I do think about what I want to see happen in the new year, but I’m never ready to start right away.

The clutter of the season is still within my sight. Accumulated dust and particles from wrapping paper, extra people in the house, doors opening and closing, and ashes from the fireplace do not make anything feel new. The untidiness doesn’t excite me into doing more than pulling the blanket up over my head and hoping it all goes away on its own.

But – sigh! – it doesn’t.

My year can’t really start until all the dust is packed away with the smiling Santa’s and ceramic angels, glitter and treasured ornaments.

Organizational and productivity experts tell us to use the week between Christmas and New Year’s to form thoughts, create a plan and ‘clean the mind house’ for the new year.

My personal experience is to start sometime after the tree gets put outside for the birds to perch on and protect themselves through the cold winter.

Sometime around… just about now!

But today, before I put pen to paper to plan my new year, I celebrated one more personal tradition I hold true to before ‘locking down’ the previous Christmas.

Re-reading all the Christmas cards and holiday greetings we received through the season.

Transition into a New Year

For one more moment, I hold onto ‘old acquaintances’. I remember why we are connected, how our relationships have grown closer or apart through the years, and how much fun we have when we do get together.

If friends or family send cards with pictures, I smile as I look at their growing families, cats and dogs, and really read about their last year’s adventures.

I embrace the gift each of them has been to my life. Then I lift them in prayer to be graced with many blessings in the new year.

There is a comfort in remembering.

There is joy in thinking of all the good that can come to my friends in the coming year.

And there is peace in knowing that no matter what the coming months bring to my life, no matter what goals and resolutions I may make, the notes, good wishes and love from those I care about will carry me through the new year.

And with that thought – it’s time to really bring on 2017!

Happy New Year, friends! It’s only January 10 – there is still plenty of year ahead!



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