People seem to like dividing time into these little chunks, like New Years. I do it too, don’t get me wrong, but when I think of a new year I’m thinking more of all the stuff I’m going to be associating with it by the end. There’s a sense of optimism, of a ‘next chapter’ I guess, but other than that it’s pretty meaningless. Sometimes I’ll party, other times I just stay home (which is probably what I’m going to be doing this year). But I don’t make new years “resolutions” because those things are a fucking joke as far as I’m concerned. Try it if you want to, but I’m not one for commitment or solid goal setting. Hell, I’m not even to enthusiastic about feeling locked into a specific direction.
I get the feeling 2015 is going to be a good year, but it’s not because of it being a “new” year. It’s just that… the fact that people treat it like that, as if there’s some invisible line drawn between one year and the next, gets just about everyone thinking of the uncertainty, the not knowing what’s going to happen throughout the next year. It makes it a little more exciting because there’s a little bit of mystery, maybe some apprehension, and thrown in with that is the impending sense of possibilities. Even feeling sort of out of sync with the celebrations and traditions people engage in, the fact that it’s going on is unavoidable. The sense of a new year is in the air because so many people put it there.
It’s just impossible to avoid thinking of it in those terms to some extent, even as removed from it as someone like me might feel most of the time. I think part of why the idea of it loses its shine for me probably has to do with the fact that view transformation as a continuous, chaotic process.
I mentioned one of the common phrases thrown around about new chapters, but think about it. As a finished product a story might not seem so chaotic and messy but the fact is… something that’s been organized into chapters, into some sort of orderly appearance, didn’t start out that way. May still not really be as clear and neat as it appears to be. You can only see things like that when you’re removed from them, outside of the process. That’s why we can look back and organize our lives into chapters.
While we are writing the current ones though, everything is chaos, uncertain, in flux and up in the air. None of us knows what will happen next, and even those of us that have a pretty good idea of it can’t predict even a fraction of what’s really going to go down in the next moment. Let alone in an entire year. You can kid yourself into thinking you’ve got it figured out but the present doesn’t reveal what it’s going to become until it already has. We might impose order on all of it disassociatively, retroactively, but that orderliness is just a comforting veneer. So… while I’m hardly above indulging in that veneer, playing along, letting myself believe, that’s exactly what I’m doing. Playing along.
Artists and dreamers don’t tolerate reality… but there’s a difference between not tolerating it and not acknowledging it. I might play along but really, there are no meaningful divisions between this year and the next except for what actually happens in them. That, and the ones we create… but let’s face it, most people’s “new year resolutions” are a joke. I guess in a way they’re kind of like NaNoWriMo or preferred approaches to writing fiction (e.g. pantsers vs. planners). Which really boils down to, well, if it works for you then do it. Don’t be surprised if it doesn’t either though; I know I myself bounce back and forth on all sorts of things, this included. I’m ambivalent about it. Do what feels right.
Celebrate the new year, go along with it half-heartedly, ignore the “new year” nonsense everyone else is thinking and talking about… you know, whatever. However you look at it, whatever you decide to do this year, base it on what feels right at the time. Imo the only thing that matters is that it’s satisfying and enjoyable. If dread, guilt, or anything like that is a factor… you’re doing it wrong.
(Fyi this was written yesterday…)