I know many of you reading this think I’ve gotten lost in some time warp because you know that it’s not New Year’s Day. No it’s Epiphany, or Little Christmas, or Orthodox Christmas or your cousin’s new partner’s birthday or something. But it is definitely NOT New Year’s.
In the words of Jan Richardson, “In some parts of the world, Epiphany (January 6, which brings the Christmas season to a close) is celebrated as “Women’s Christmas.” Originating in Ireland, where it is known as Nollaig na mBan…”
And so it is for me. I love the season of Epiphany. so I chose it as my day to wipe the slate clean and start over. Imagine! a whole season of epiphany and hopefully epiphanies.
All will be well and all is well. I am just fine. Same old ornery self. I have decided to make the 12th day of Christmas or Epiphany or Women’s Christmas MY New Year’s Day this year of 2012 CE just because it works for me and my plans for this year.
You don’t have to be a slave to social mores either. You can pick any day or date that works for you, don’t be tied to the Julian calendar that our ancestors adopted.
And perhaps you might pick a next best date when a major life event smacks you in the forehead. May feel that a change of direction and some centering is called for. You don’t even have to make your year last for 365 days of that Julian calendar. Pick a number, any number. Now go ahead, pick a day that has meaning for you and begin your very own New Year. And while you’re at it … Celebrate your Self!
Patti Digh has been a mentor to me (though she doesn’t know that) and she is the author of Love is a Verb, Creative is a Verb, What I Wish For You: Simple Wisdom for a Happy Life and Four Word Self-help.
She begins her new year with two questions. I think they are very good questions. All encompassing yet focused they can centre (Yes, I am Canadian) and ground us. Better still they can give us a sense of direction … a compass to keep us on our own path. So I enter this, my new year asking myself these questions.
What do I want (or need) to let go of in 2012?
but that will be difficult. Even those old theology books that don’t seem to fit this new life are hard to part with. But I will have to force myself to be ruthless and pare down the books so that they either have a place on one of the many bookshelves or they find a new home.
Old clothes. We all have them. Those articles we haven’t worn in years, but still hang on to … just in case. I have tons (well maybe not tons, but more than enough) of clothes that don’t suit my life, don’t suit my body type, don’t fit … and they have to go. No more hanging on waiting for that big party, the fitness routine that actually works, the waistlines to match… No more hanging on. Out they go to the thrift shop for someone else who can actually use them.
Those are tangibles and their absence will be noticeable in my house. There will be more space and less clutter.
I’m looking for the same thing within my Self. I need to feel more spacious and less cluttered. How to do that? Let go of defining myself with someone else’s yardstick. Let go of the need to seek approval from some superior far-distant Other. Let go of those core beliefs that no longer serve. Just let go…
It’s like shoveling snow…if it’s so you can get in your car and go then you know why you’re doing it, and it’s actually fun. Well, fun might be a stretch, but it’s not so much of a chore.
And what do I want to create in 2012?
Now with my new position this one is easy…I want to create a healthier, more vibrant community … both professionally and in my personal life (especially within my small “tribe”). The great work will be a process of learning and growing for me. One which I love. As to personally…keep tuned…more announcements to come.
I hope you will join me this year and we can keep on growing together!