Why New Year's Is Not Just About Starting Over
I find it fitting that January first would begin the way it did for me this year. I had it in my mind that all my ducks needed to be in a row and my life in order by December 31st, because January first is a fresh start, a new beginning, a chance to rewrite my story, only with fewer mistakes this time. I have been subconsciously believing that the New Year was like take two, and by golly, I better have my lines memorized and all the kinks worked out by now.
But life is funny, and that is why it is fitting that the first day of 2018 would be spent in the car for five hours, battling a cold, with a belly full of fast food, completely and utterly wrung dry. The guys had just finished up a week of recording at the studio, which meant I was chasing around Cyrus for seven days with little reprieve. It was a great trip and I can’t wait for the release of the new album, but it also meant ending the year totally used up and squeezed out.
I’m realizing, though, more than I needed to begin a new chapter with zeal and gusto, I needed to be reminded that perfection is not and has never been God’s desire. Grace is not an hourglass that runs out at 11:59 on New Year’s Eve and gets flipped back over at midnight. It is a process, a journey of becoming and learning, of growing and flourishing and deepening roots. I am a work in progress, a masterpiece in the making, and His mercies are new every morning -- every moment if I need them.
As much as I would have loved to start the day/year with a long quiet time and a kale smoothie, I rejoice in these imperfect moments because they remind me that it’s not all about me. It is not about attaining a new level of success or perfection, either. I am alive and breathing. I have been given another day, another year to grow and thrive.
January first is not just about new beginnings - it’s about taking another step forward.
I don’t know how your new year began--maybe you are four days in and still killing it. But, if you are anything like me, you have already had a few slip ups, botched a New Year’s resolution, or aren’t quite as motivated as you hoped you would be as soon as that ball dropped. And maybe, like me, you needed to be reminded that January first is not just about new beginnings--it’s about taking another step forward. One more step toward making peace with who you are and who you are becoming. It’s about grace and grit and dusting off your knees and rising to the occasion.
Here’s to 2018 -- a year brimming with possibility and hope and discovery. May you knock out all of your resolutions. May you wear out your gym membership and take your vitamins every day and read that entire collection of classics. But more importantly, may you slow down long enough to count your blessings and enjoy the process. May you be patient with yourself because the year may be different but it’s still that same beautiful, fragile soul in there, and it’s worth nurturing.