I arrived at work yesterday to find that the New Year felt almost exactly like the Old Year. My desk sat cluttered waiting for me. What? No elves came in to clear it up and organize the papers? What? The to do list sat right by my keyboard looking just as accusing and disapproving as it did a few days ago. What? I had meetings to go to and calls to answer and emails to write and send and read and respond. I wanted to scream out - but it's NEW YEAR!!! You know out with the old, in with the new. But I didn't. I looked out and saw pretty much everyone else going through the same thing.
So, for me, I've decided that it isn't a fresh start after all. I mean, I'm nearly sixty, I've had a lot of fresh starts. I guess, to paraphrase ... all fresh starts lead to more of the same. I've decided that it's like my life is like a journal and 2011 is on the shelf and 2012 lays open before me. I love journals. I love opening them and seeing the fresh white paper ready for me to start jotting notes in. What story will be told this year? What places will I go? What people will I meet? What changes will I be required to make? What mistakes will bring happiness, which, pain?
The story of 2012, of course, takes off from exactly the same point as 2011 left. It's not like the movies where time flutters ahead and now we are in a new place with a new Dave. No, I'm stuck here with me, plodding along. As I went about the business of living and working, I realized that I was OK to set pen down in the new ledger and begin writing. There was a comfort, somehow, in the messy desk, and the stack of emails, and the meetings jotted down in my day book. There was a comfort in the recognition that there is a hole in the fabric of this world into which I fit. It's an irregularly shaped hole, but it's there.
So for me the New Year began, not with the holidays and the sparklers and the cries of drunks in the street. No, for me the New Year began by returning, from the land of holiday, into the land of expectations - and finding that my place was still there for me and that I was needed. So in my ledger book I placed pen on clean sheet and wrote simply,
And again ...