Happy New Year 2020 – A Brief Reflection

Today is New Years Day, the beginning of the civil year: a day celebrated by many as a holiday, observed by most schools and some workplaces opting to close for the day and for others marking the final day of an extended holiday break. Like most throughout the entire holiday season, the festivities for the day are dispersed throughout a few different days with observances varying based on location and demographic.

Around this time of year many of us choose to undertake some special discipline or practice (New Years Resolutions) with the hopes of bettering our careers, health, overall well-being, etc. While many of us benefit from these resolutions, I personally ceased observing them as a practice several years ago for a number of reasons. These vary but generally consist of:

I. We frequently forget and/or break them quite easily or early in the year.
2. We frequently do not have the right foresight or knowledge of what we would truly like to make a resolution for.
3. We don’t need to wait or reserve a particular period to work for a change in our lives! We can choose to begin to strive towards it here and now!
….. among others! This list could certainly go on for some time, but I do certainly respect the belief and practice of those who choose to observe them.

This year has seen many changes in my own life. My wife, myself and our two cats picked up our lives from where we’ve been living for a little less than five years and relocated to Hagerstown, MD for work, my wife having just graduated from college in May, freeing up our availability for me to return to school full-time while dropping down to working part-time. Both of our careers have continued to move forward in their respective paths. Things have been even busier from the spiritual perspective as I’ve transitioned from acting as a pastor to a small house church community to student in a structured Buddhist ministry program, partner to our work here at Jeweled Tree and a member at the local Unitarian-Universalist Congregation (where John and I first met), all while continuing to hold my Christian sacramental and prayer life at the center of my daily observances. At the beginning of 2019 while I expected a few minor career changes I had no idea that life would take us in these varied directions that it did! I did not set out to work this past year to return to school or advance in my career and yet the opportunities presented themselves: I have much to be grateful for. Sure, there were admittedly moments and periods which I felt less thrilled to have experienced but even in these does there lay a sense of gratitude for the experience.

As we begin this year, let us strive to enter it with a “beginners mind” as to what may open itself to us. While we are often prone to living as if we already know how our lives will transpire this is certainly not always the case! Let us work to live more mindfully of all that sprouts around us and accept each bit of it (the “good” and the “bad” with a smile and a gesture of gratitude.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year Fireworks

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