On Leaving 2017 Behind…

I’m sitting here on the next-to-last day of 2017, in my office. I am still in my pajamas at 3 p.m. Outside, the chilly day has bits of blue sky hiding behind patches of low fog. But the sun is mostly shining, I am warm, it is quiet, and my cat, Amos, is snuggled in his bed. He is staring at the curtain, waiting for drowsiness to overtake him for his fourth nap today.

The days between Christmas and New Year’s Eve nearly always offer some solace that, right now, I have nothing urgent to do. Everybody out there has taken the week off, or is short-timing between three day weekends. I can spend at least one or two days lazing around my house, watching t.v., idly doing chores or doodling with my new gel pens. Or, I can work solely on what I want to work on for a change, no deadlines, no worries.

It is during this time that I, like many others, reflect on both the outgoing year and what the new one might bring. I did a lot last year: lived in our motorhome with my family for awhile, sold a house, bought a house, fixed it up, got rid of a lot of junk, settled into my new surroundings and did a lot of exploring. I did this on my own free will, taking on hardships and then working to overcome them. Not once did I ever go without money or a meal unless I chose to. Knowing that my fate was completely in my hands was quite freeing, as is knowing that my future is all up to me.

There are those catting around on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and a host of other social media sites who are saying the same thing they do every year: “I can’t WAIT for 2018!” and “Boy am I glad 2017 is over!” and worst of all, “Things will be better in the coming year!” How much better can they be if you sat around 2017 lamenting how awful your life was, and doing nothing to change it? And, was it really that awful? Are you going to solve it by making a list of resolutions for yourself for the coming year?

Screw that crap. Here’s what I found out: you don’t have to wait for January 1 to start fresh, lose weight, quit smoking, start working out, get a better job, deal with your health, find a new crowd, or improve your life. As my poor husband noshed on some pizza the other day, commenting how he should do it now before he starts control of his diet in the new year, I zapped him right where it hurt: his stomach. What if, I said, you began putting your diet in check right now, today, instead of setting yourself up for failure in January?

January 1 is just a calendar date. I myself happen to like even-numbered years for no apparent reason, and 2018 sounds great to me. But my personal resolutions were actually formed some time ago, and I plan to continue working on them with no time limit or start date in mind. That has included chasing off bad memories, incidents and people, some stemming from years ago. Those suckers have been loaded onto a train and it has chugged right out of Janville. I am certain the train will make a return trip. More baggage will be sent on its way as needed, and I am ready for it. There is no freight charge.

So here is my challenge to you: I submit that today, you can think of something you want to achieve right now, without waiting for the new year. Even though it’s only two days away, surely there is something you plan to do come January? Why not start right now. Live for this minute. Fool that little New Year’s Baby into thinking you’ll be carrying out your mission on January 1 (or January 2 if you have a hangover), and get the jump on him. Most importantly, whatever you do, even if it’s nothing, do it with vigor and purpose. And have a glorious 367 days until New Year’s Eve 2018, living your life the way you want to live it.

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