Jillybean's Blog











{February 8, 2015}   Yes, It IS a Happy New Year…

Let’s be honest.

January and February can absolutely suck.

At least at first impression they can–without the benefit of a year’s worth of perspective.

Winter is no fun for anybody.  But it’s all a matter of perspective…

***

No, I’m no longer chipping ice off my windshield at 4am when the Connecticut blizzards blithely greet me after a long workday.

The Los Angeles winter, though conciliatory, is more feeling than function.  I acknowledge this truth as one who has intimately known many a cold, winter night in solitude on the East Coast and in the Midwest.

These months are cold and dark for everyone.

Maybe not in the weather way, but in the nascent-year way.

As I comfort dear friends on the East Coast during rough winter swells, I recall their plight…

They may not understand through words of compassion that darker days are darker days across the board and though their experience makes them prisoners of weather, I remain empathetic on a separate plane.

January and February inherently have no substantial merit.

I empathize because the lack of distinction and potential for the misery of winter wrap everyone up in a deceitful embrace.

Celebrations of any kind are in short supply this time of year.

These months are lonely.  Regardless of weather peculiarities, the East and West coast greet one another in an overlap of melancholy.

****

The glow of self-proclaimed New Years’ promises wear off for everyone as we seek comfort in isolation to face the harsh reality of unfulfilled promises.

We face the reality of being stuck and lose heart in the coming year’s glow.

January and February refuse to offer any matter of recourse from despondency when we know that letting ourselves down is a strong possibility.

Oh yes, yet another list of resolutions may remain unfulfilled.  Motivation wanes and plans of action lack clarity.

There is the pervasive, pesky question looming over us at this time of year:

“What were we so optimistic about?”

Or worse yet, we wonder what we might look forward to.

***

As the snow pummels the entire right half of the country, the clouds cast a deceitful shadow each day…convincing those walking on the cold-hard ground that the sun has forsaken them forever…

Stray pine needles turn up in the carpet to mock us…bringing strands of tinsel along for the torment.  The vacuum cleaner has convinced us its a useless piece of machinery.

“Next year, we get a fake tree,” we say as we pick up needles and dust bunnies hugging the baseboards.

There are constant reminders of an exhausted holiday season…memories of hedonism and loved ones who have since returned to their daily grind…

BUT…

****

I was shaken by the idea this year that there is something about this year, and these promises.

Maybe this time can be different…

***

I stared at my list of resolutions tonight.

They looked like a pretty common set:
Drink less.
Laugh more.
Travel.
Practice gratitude.

As I mulled them over, I realized the only thing possibly in the way was me.

The only thing stopping me with these perceived “New Year’s Blues” is me.

Maybe I could gain control and help focus attempts to better myself.

I realize that I am, at this point, ready for a change.

I can no longer tell myself that leggings aren’t just a fancier version of sweatpants.

What I promised myself on January 1st is about to take precedence…

I am in a period of rest.

This is hard to accept for someone who is so goal-driven.

*****

As the moon picked up brilliance and height in the sky one night last week while walking to work, the day waned and I realized…if light could cut through the dark with such ease, was optimism’s power so far behind?

***

I read something about bats recently. They send out sonar to find their prey…shouting, transmitting signals…getting something back when prey is near.

Their cry is at an octave so loud and so intense that no one else can hear…they are bound to find something that sends a signal back…

For us, the benefits of a New Year have now become a reset.  An honest evaluation…us doing something productive with the signals being sent back when we send out a beacon, desiring a confirmation from the dark…

What’s working, what’s not?

Our new goals.  Is success, at this point, relevant or not?

What is success?

You realize exactly how hard it is to accomplish starry-eyed resolutions…

And you absolutely can decide whether or not you need to take on the challenge.

I think we all can.

And that is what we are all called upon to do this year…

Step up.

The time is now.

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I love your point about us being the ones that stand in the way of our promises to ourselves. So true. Self-doubt is always my biggest obstacle, even though it usually disguises itself as laziness or fear.



schatzi33 says:

That’s such an astute observation. That’s definitely how it can disguise itself for me, too!!! I think all artist types struggle with this. It’s easy to doubt yourself when you’re putting yourself out there all the time



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