Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Turning a New Year

Happy Winter Solstice! In the Northern Hemisphere, this is the shortest day of the year and the longest night. South of the Equator, they do everything upside-down and backwards, so they think today is the Summer Solstice. I guess I can cut a break for people who can live on the underside of the Earth without falling off, though.

The Winter Solstice is the real New Year. For thousands of years, people's lives have revolved around this day. Before we knew anything about planetary mechanics, we had no assurance that the Sun would reverse its course and bring Spring back again. Monuments such as Stonehenge were constructed to keep track of this, and people did everything they could think of, some of them pretty horrible, to insure that Spring would come, and life would return to the land.

Some of our most cherished Christmas traditions are survivors from those times. Evergreens and holly, especially, are reminders that life goes on, even on the darkest days. The red berries on the holly bush are some of the first seeds of the new year, as well as a dash of color against the snow and bare trees of deep winter. The Yule Log reminds us of the fires our ancestors used to keep the night monsters at bay and to provide themselves with heat and light. Fire also represents the warmth of light against the dark and cold around us, a little comfort in the midst of danger and despair.

Whatever day we call New Year's Day is truly a magical day. On that day, we close the book of another year and open a new one. Crisp, white pages wait to be filled with our wonder and sorrow, our laughter and tears, our dreams and nightmares, our triumphs and failures, all the words that tell the stories of the days that build our lives.

This is the season of reflection and planning. At this time of year, I look back at the past year and see what I can learn from it. Many plans I made did not come to fruition. Many things happened that I did not plan for, both good and bad. This is the way life works. Things seldom work out exactly the way we expect. Again, that is both good and bad. The one thing I can say is that surprises, however unwelcome, keep life from becoming a boring routine.

For the next 10 days, I will be considering my plans for the coming year. One of them, I have already committed to by signing up for the 2 Year Novel course at Forward Motion. Many participants have commented on the value of this course, and I expect to get enormous benefit from it, as well as momentum. In the coming days, I will set other plans and goals. Maybe I will reach them, maybe not. The important thing for me is to try. I am trying to learn to give myself credit for the progress I make, while not whipping myself for the goals I did not accomplish. That's a long, hard road for me. One step at a time.

7 Comments:

At 12:01 PM, Blogger Vernieda said...

Welcome Yule!

I'll be seeing you in the 2YN class, Carter! It'll be fabulous and it also looks like it'll be a bit smaller than the 2004 class. :)

 
At 4:02 PM, Blogger Carter said...

Great! I'm getting psyched for it. It may not always be fun, but it will be well worth the effort.

See you there!

 
At 7:31 PM, Blogger Debra Young said...

Good for you, Carter! Happy New Year! d:)

 
At 8:45 AM, Blogger Carter said...

Thanks, Debra! Remember to kick me in the butt when I start whining. :-)

 
At 10:32 AM, Blogger Mama Rose said...

Have fun with Zette's class. I did it in 2004 and learned a lot. :)

Linda

 
At 11:09 AM, Blogger Carter said...

Thanks, Linda! I'm looking forward to it.

 
At 4:17 PM, Blogger Melly said...

Gosh Carter - "I am trying to learn to give myself credit for the progress I make, while not whipping myself for the goals I did not accomplish."
We're so alike, and I would even add for me here - downplaying the goals I did accomplish.

Yes, it's a good time to make some plans. I think I'll follow your example :)

Have fun in the class.

 

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