Saturday, January 2, 2010 - Happy New Year!

posted Jan 2, 2010, 5:52 PM by Jeremy Poehnert   [ updated Jan 2, 2010, 6:20 PM ]
This is my first reflection for the new year, so I should probably do some reflection about that...

I've never really been into new year resolutions.  There's something about putting so much emphases on one specific date/time that doesn't work for me.  On one hand it's too much pressure (Get the New Year Right!), and on the other, it's too sporadic; it only comes once a year!

I tend to make my resolutions on a ongoing basis, which has it's own disadvantages, but works better for me.

I do like the idea of recognizing the passage of time and marking milestones, and from that perspective I do find New Year's very meaningful.  It's funny though; I appreciate New Year's, and I had a really fun New Year's eve this year, but the actual changing of the year doesn't feel as powerful for me this year as it has at times in the past.

I think part of that is that I've acclimated to the higher education calendar; the year starts in September and ends in May (with June-August as a sort of renewal/transitional period).  September and May both tend to be very reflective for me, as I think of another year of work or school having come or gone.

I think there's more than my higher ed focus at work though.  This past semester has felt very moving, very important for me.  I went through (and am still going through) a deep reflective period.  I started shaping a new direction for my life.  I set goals for my personal, spiritual, physical and professional growth.  A process of change and renewal started this past semester and is still happening.  It is a change that feels profound and deep.

Somehow the process that has already started takes some of the emphasis off the new year.  I'm trying to make reflection and renewal an ongoing process, something I do on a continual basis, not something limited to specific days or events.  

That doesn't mean it's not a good idea to put extra time and energy into reflection when certain milestones come around.  Anything that encourages me to reflect is valuable.  But now it feels more like milestones are part of a larger, ongoing process, connected to what came before and what's coming next, rather than isolated, one-time events.