It’s arbitrary, really, where we choose to separate this year from the last. The Earth orbits in a continuous ellipse around the sun, and yet we imbue great significance to the restart day of our calendar. We make New Year’s resolutions and earnestly declare that “This year will be different!”
Well, I’m pretty sure it won’t, which is why I’m deciding not to declare any new resolutions, but instead be aware of the things that I have been successful with over time and continue with things mostly as they have been. I’ll make changes when they need to be made, but allow those changes to happen on any day of the year.
I wish to continue to be healthier each day. This has meant less food and more exercise. It means going on runs and biking to work. It means avoiding all the delectable snacks offered at Google.
I wish to continue to improve at photography and languages. This has meant finding time, daily, to explore and create. It means seeing the light and imagining the photograph everywhere, even if I don’t snap the shutter. It means Duolingo, French meetups, and the News In Slow French as often as I can make the time.
I wish to continue to be professional and engaged. This has meant seeking solutions instead of assigning blame and reaching out instead of avoiding. It means going to work fresh and energetic daily and focusing on what’s next, not what may have gone badly before.
I wish to continue parenting my children. This has become easier over time physically, but more challenging mentally. At this point it means being present, patient, and firm, but also listening and adapting to context. It means reminding my children to take care of their responsibilities, but being patient with and supporting them when they fall down on the job.
I wish to continue to be engaged with and enjoy my friendships and remote family. This means birthday dinners, holiday parties, phone calls, cards, presents, cross-country flights, remote tech-support, and late-night PS4 gaming. We do what we can when we can, and this waxes and wanes, but it is always there.
Of course, I cannot imagine discontinuing the fabulous relationship I have with my wife, partner, and all-around best and closest friend. We have fun every day and look forward to the next. I hope she keeps me.
Finally, I wish to continue to be myself, whatever that is. I’ve been extraordinarily lucky in life and certainly hope that won’t change.
Happy New Year!