I like December. It seems to me that the end of the year marks a very definite ‘line in the sand’, a demarcation that slows us down and represents the end of something. For instance, the piles of papers on my writing-table, I’ve just sorted them and already half have been deemed redundant. The others, I will leave until January and my guess is that most of them will become insignificant when a whole New Year looms large.
Matters that have been concerning along the way and issues that caused distress during the year somehow lose some of their importance and solutions become clearer. Am I the only one who views the end of the year as a sort of cleansing opportunity? I hear many people say ‘next year I will get on top of this’ or ‘I’m pleased to wipe the slate clean and start again’. Well, I understand that thinking. It’s refreshing to have an opportunity to review, assess and start afresh. It doesn’t necessarily mean that problems, issues or tricky situations magically disappear or are resolved but the line does give time out. And we all need time, a small rest from life’s pressing or mundane routine to reflect and become calm perhaps. Well at least I know I do.
Now, I don’t wish to sound trite or even worse like a modern-day ‘Pollyanna’! Of course there are many things that we certainly cannot draw a line in the sand about. In fact, the larger and more serious issues and problems in life do not go away just because we stop for festive and holiday celebrations. No, people dealing with ill-health, serious family problems, major trauma and grief, do not get the luxury of taking time out. For some families and individuals, December and the expectations that this time of year places on community and family only adds difficulty.
But for many, who are fortunate enough to be able to take a break, there are benefits. Having time to reflect and evaluate can be an exercise in personal growth and a chance to look forward to a New Year with hope and positivity. Opportunities, I surmise, come from a healthy level of hope and positive thinking.
And for me, the invisible line that I draw at the end of the year gives space for clearing and letting go of the old stuff. All the poorly planned projects, the half-baked ideas, the negative experiences, the worry and anxiety (well, maybe!) and the promised changes that I didn’t actually achieve.
Next year always offers the unknown. A block of time and space to play with. A bit like a new house in which the furniture can be strategically arranged. And yes, I suspect that when the end of the year line is in sight it represents a brief ‘window of opportunity’, all over again!