Baptizing the New Year

At the beginning of last year  I wrote about the Year of Resurrection.  2010 was an incredible year– as the economy began to recover, along with the generals sense of world possibility, great things again became possible.  In my little piece of the world, once I discovered the possibility of great things, I realized many of them.  Along the way I made a lot of mistakes.

Big ones.

Hurtful, jarring, unexpected ones.

These were the biggest successes of 2010.  The tan that comes from warm sun on a relaxed body fades come winter, but scars remain.  These scars are the small pieces of self changed by injury that have come back stronger than the softness that they replaced.

My little tradition of assigning a name to each new year, as in ‘the year of the rabbit’, came from a joking discussion with a good friend about the coming year of 2008.  We named that year The Year of Stoke and Ambition.  The name now sounds silly to me, but it’s reflective of a time and of the sentiment that time carried for me.  It’s a way of telling a story.

Then, 2009 became The Year of Resurrection; the economy was in the pits, and year-end recaps focused so strongly on the negative that death became imminent and it became time to usher in resurrection, both personal and collective.  But as resurrection goes, rebirth is the easiest step.  It’s a step defined in the negative as not-death and new-life.  But what comes next?

2011 is The Year of Identity.  Following rebirth comes the period of emotional adolescence.  I know, it sounds like we’re back in highschool, but in some ways, that which we found so unsettling about our teenage years is a supremely useful and necessary stage when we engage with it consciously.

In 2010 we became new beings.  In 2011, we choose who we will become and in what world we will live.

Make new rules.  Redefine the good life.  Spend lavishly on what you love.  Don’t fight what you hate, create the alternative world that holds all that you need from it.

We are our own greatest tyrants, for this we must accept responsibility.  All rules by which we abide we have accepted.  Exuberance is temporary, bliss is a process, and satisfaction is born of good work concluded.

In 2011 it is now time to redefine success and to decide what place we have in the world.

May you sleep well each day of the new year in the tiredness born of hard-working bliss.

Category: Adventures, Travel, & Writing

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