I love beginnings. I love the excitement, the anticipation, the dreams of what will be.
Clearly, I love thinking about the New Year. It’s a great time to shake off whatever happened the year before and move forward.
One year, years ago, it had been a particularly bad year. I had a number of personal disappointments. And it seemed like a lot of my closest friends had been through the same thing. We were done with January through December.
We decided a cleansing was in order. We got together a bunch of calendars from that year. We then gathered together on New Year’s Eve and lit a bonfire.
Standing around the fire, each of us would find a particular date, rip out that entry, and declare why it was terrible. We would then crumble it up and throw it into the fire, releasing that bad day to the universe. We danced around the fire and celebrated.
It was amazing and cathartic.
We learned something that night – it’s all invented.
What do I mean?
Nothing had actually changed. The bad events that had happened on those days, still had happened on those days. The events were unchanged, but our perception of them profoundly were.
The terrible breakup was no longer a devastation, it was a release. The job loss was not a setback, but an opportunity to follow a real passion. The lies told helped us recognize what is actual truth.
We learned that we no longer were held back by our past, because we could invent our future.
That’s something Mare and I try to teach our children. If life is invented, why not invent something wonderful? What not invent a place of opportunity? Of creation? Of happiness? Of inclusion?
I’ve heard it said that life is 10% what happens to you and 90% of how you react.
I believe that.
This year my wish for everyone is that we each embrace the possibility that is around us. That we look not for how things are not, but for how we want them to be. That we view our setbacks as teaching points, our opposition as wise counsel, our failures as an opportunity to try again with better experience. The worst thing in life is to live with regret – the unspoken word; the ungiven gift; the unspent time with a loved one.
Let this be the year we are fearless.
Here’s to an amazing 2019!