December, to me, is an orchestral piece that keeps getting louder, more layered and more frenzied. The strings start shrieking higher and sharper, and the drums beat faster. It comes to a point where your ears - actually your entire sensory system - can’t take any more. Then suddenly, everything comes to a dead stop all at once and there is silence. That sudden moment of silence is what January 2nd feels like to me.
Even though January 1st is the actual start of the new year, it always feels to me like it’s part of the December Crush. I’m sure I’m not alone when I admit that it’s often filled with napping and snacking on all the holiday goodies that are still hanging around the house. The 2nd somehow feels like the real “fresh start.” New Year’s Resolutions in general have come to be thought of as a joke whose punchline usually comes around in mid-January, or maybe February when they slowly but surely start to dissolve. I’m certainly not immune to this phenomenon, and have plenty of broken resolutions under my belt. That’s not going to stop me from continuing the tradition though.
January gets knocked as being some artificial cue that makes us decide we want to make a change. I’m not saying that is never the case, but I do think it’s a special and valuable time. This is the perfect season for reflection, especially in the Northeast. Post-holiday winter is cold, dormant, quiet and oftentimes (like today) covered with a fresh layer of neon white fluffy snow that equalizes all surfaces. It doesn’t have the distractions of the other seasons, making it a natural time to turn inward.
I used to both love and hate January when I worked at the greenhouse. It was mainly filled with shoveling and frigid temperatures, but also planning and preparing for the year ahead. Looking at the different crops we had grown, seeing what worked and what didn’t, what quantities needed to be adjusted, and setting schedules for seeding and transplanting. You took all the papers out of your three-ring binder (labeled with whatever year it had just been) clipped them together and filed them away, then put in your new blank pages and relabeled it with the new year. Sooo satisfying! You could completely start fresh with an empty greenhouse and new plants, and the world was your “oyster plant” (Rhoeo spathacea).
I’m no longer at the greenhouse, but in January I’m still drawn to reflecting on the past and looking toward the future. For my own purposes, I think I’m going to replace the term “New Year’s Resolution” with “New Year’s Reflection.” Reflecting on my own life and how I’ve been existing… my choices, my goals (both business and personal). And if I feel like I want to make some adjustments, why not now? I don’t have any tips or tricks on how to keep a resolution, but being honest with myself and embracing this time of reflection is more important to me than any specific resolution I can come up with. Happy New Year to you all, may it be filled with love, good health, and fun!