A New Moment

sunrise-and-set

A new year. I always shake my head a little when I hear people panicking over that, or wanting to celebrate that too desperately. Here’s why: We imposed that on ourselves –the marking of time that is, into days, weeks, months, years, and decades. Nature itself remains unchanged in its cycles, but its humans who feel the urge to count time, and thus add unnecessary stress or expectation to it. We say we want to do this “by age thirty,” or that “by age sixty.” It’s just another restriction, another way to fit us into boxes that society has set up. I mean, what if “this” isn’t accomplished by age thirty, but age forty? Does the achievement mean less because of the date it was achieved? And the idea of “New Year Resolutions” — why not “new day resolutions,” or “new moment resolutions?” As in “Boy, I really shouldn’t have said that/done that/ate that/drank that a minute ago, at 2:02 p.m., maybe I should try to be more careful now that it’s 2:03?”

Here’s what I think the object of a “new” should be, whether its counted in a year or in a moment: It could mean listening with ‘new’ ears–ears that are open to contemplating the possibility that what they thought they heard, understood, and believed in the past might have been wrong, and that there might be a whole fresh way of hearing. We could be seeing something we’ve seen before with ‘new’ eyes, eyes that spot something we missed the first or the second or the third time we looked. “New” can mean having a ‘new’ spirit, a spirit that challenges our long held perceptions and beliefs, our negative thoughts and behaviours, our treatment of ourselves and others. “New” can mean having a ‘new’ spine. A spine that gives us the courage to make the passage of time be more than just a change of date on our human calendar, but a change of habit, a change of heart, a change of perception, all for the better.

And the best part about all those “new?” We don’t have to wait until a certain date to reach for them. We can start now, and we can restart, any day, and every day. So that when the “time” comes that we close our eyes for the last time, we can do so knowing that we lived day in, day out, improving ourselves, trying to be the best version of ourselves we could be, and as a result, trying to help make the world the best version of itself it could be.

So, Happy New Moment. Here’s to a ‘new’ you, a ‘new’ us, right now, and then again, in the next moment, and the next.

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