Just Like That It’s December

Everyone knows the old cliches, Time Flies and Where Does the Time Go? Buckets of people all over the world are now proclaiming, ‘How is it December already?’… as if this year there were fewer days from January 1st to December 1st. We all get the same 52 weeks; 365 days; 8760 hours; 31,536,000 seconds each year. Until we die. Or there’s a leap year.

Are we really surprised that our wall calendar, in the turning of a page, has reached the end of 2022? Just as it had for 2021 and 2020 and 2019 and so on. Is it a shallow shock or is there something deeper to the anxiety sparked by a year ending and a new one beginning? Maybe we are disappointed that so many things were left undone, unfinished, unsaid, or unaccomplished as another year passes us by? Maybe we are subconsciously fearful that a new calendar means another 365 days of us not meeting our own expectations and the looming idea that with each year passing, we draw nearer the grave and the permanent end of all things we wanted to accomplish?

I love John Lennon’s So This Is ChristmasSo this is Christmas… And what have you done? Another year over… And a new one just begun. A convicting statement to someone with a bucket list as long as Santa’s list of Good Little Girls and Boys. A musical move of genius in pouring on the guilt over what I didn’t accomplish. Another year over and I STILL didn’t finish writing my book. I didn’t spend enough time with my mom or my grandparents. The state of my garage is STILL the result of a tornado of unorganization and excessive junk.

I make calendars each year for a few people. I actually hate doing it, and have literally paid my children to do it for me a couple of times. But the recipients appreciate them, and the end result is fabulous. The other day, I reminded my friend to get me pictures she wants on her 2023 calendar. She laughed and said how horrible this year was and that she will probably be able to find some pictures that might work.

This gal has had a hard year for sure. When she said that my heart hurt a little though. How easy it is to focus on the negative, on the struggles, on the failures, on the shortcomings, on the regret.

My mom has a saying, “My percentage rate of surviving difficult times so far is 100%!”. What if our focus was not on the struggle, but on the fact that we survived? What if our focus was not on what we lost, but of all that we gained, retained, and the good memories of things and people that we have been blessed to know?

One more What If… What if when we hear Lennon’s voice ring out… And what have you done? We think… WOW… LOOK at what I HAVE done. Look at what I have survived. LOOK at who I am. Proclaiming these things with pride and gathering the smooth stones of good memories and positive trinkets of the last year. The stones are there… a heap of them to choose from in a good year, and maybe fewer, hidden in dirt and debris on a bad year… but they’re there. Another year over… And a new one just begun… YES! A new year… for me to be whatever I want. God willing, another 31 million seconds to appreciate and make the most of. True… I will be the same person on January 1st as I was on December 31st. But my choices don’t have to be the same. I write my own story. I don’t have to be a victim to my past choices.

Regret and Fear. One living in the past. One living in the future. Both stealing the present. Did I make that up? If I did… someone needs to put it on a shirt and quote me!

Time is such a fickle thing, and all the same so reliable. We know as long as there is breath in our lungs, we have 24 hours of December 1st at hand. And we also know the fickle, unpredictability of each moment and what each breath brings.

Perspective. It’s all perspective. Will you look back at 2022 and sigh and think what a horrible year. Look at all I didn’t accomplish. Look at all that went wrong. Or will you look back at 2022 and search for the silver lining around the clouds, and focus on the successes and triumphs however small they were?

Will you look towards 2023 with dread of what hurt you’ll experience or mistakes you’ll make? Or will you take a posture of positivity. Standing on the precipice of 2023… the fertile valley of a new year stretched beautifully in front of you, waiting for you to conquer it, one step at a time.

December 31st can mark both the end of something and the beginning of something. All that was left unsaid, unfinished, unaccomplished is in the past. All that will be said, finished, accomplished is ahead. And it’s going to be great.

May each moment today, and tomorrow; this month, and next year be all that you want it to be, and that when it isn’t… you find the stones and trinkets that remind you how truly blessed you are and that you are a survivor.