The anticipation and then the experience of trying and learning about something new, be it a skill or place, presents something of a challenge it’s good to meet. Even packing up and moving to a new town doesn’t invoke in me the thought of dread others speak of.
So taking down the spent calendar and replacing it with a new one at New Year can also be a satisfying action – the ruling-off of what is past and setting one’s sights on what is ahead.
What I like about New Year is that if you look forward to it you can have more than one go at it.
At midnight on 31stDecember I watched fireworks over Auckland harbour, viewable at a distance from our lounge window, then went to bed happy that a line was drawn separating what was 2018 from what, I hoped, would prove to be a better 12 months ahead than the one just past. That’s the hopeful anticipation.
Now, thanks to the Chinese astrological reckoning, at this time of year I can do something similar by watching a lion dance and saying goodbye to the year of the Dog while looking forward to what the Year of the Pig has in store.
Why stop there! Next month at the Autumn/Spring solstice, when several other calendars traditionally began, I can stop and start again if I wish. In Iran, Afghanistan, and some other countries around the northern part of the globe where west meets east it’s the beginning of the calendar for them. I’ll celebrate yet another New Year with my Iranian and Baha’i friends.
Looking even further ahead, there’s opportunity for more such occasions that I can celebrate if I feel the need for a yet another time of renewal.
The Gregorian system is just one way of ordering time, after all.
So, whenever you choose to celebrate it, Happy New Year to you. May the next undefined period bring you progress, pleasure, and peace.