This is going to be a different type of post than normal. It’s not about books at all. So if that doesn’t interest you, feel free to skip this one.
The start of a new year has always been an interesting time for me, more so as I’ve gotten older. As a kid, the New Year holiday was simply an excuse to stay up late and hang out with friends. Not that I needed much of an excuse to do that, but it felt nice to have a parent-sanctioned reason. As I got into college, it turned into more of a spiritual event. Sort of like a reset, a time to take stock, evaluate, and have a symbolic rebirth.
Now, as an adult, it seems even less important.
I celebrated the start of 2021 on Thursday night at a wonderful restaurant with great friends and my wife. It was a lovely time. However, on Monday I am going to wake up and go to work doing the same job I had on Wednesday, working on the same projects for the same amount of money, engaging in the same hobbies and routines, and basically all around being the same person. The only thing that changes is the last number on a calendar.
I’ve never made resolutions. I think there are times in a person’s life where one moment changes who you are. The first “I love you;” holding your child for the first time; the death of a loved one; these are all instances, seconds in time, that completely change you and turn you into a stranger. The clock changing from 11:59 to 12:00 on a particular night is not one of those moments. Even if you make resolutions, you aren’t automatically a person who can hold to them in 2021 because the clock says you can.
So what’s the point?
The start of a new year, however cynical you are about it, is a time to feel hopeful. It’s a time to believe that you can change, that the world can change, that things can be better. Even if you don’t make resolutions, who doesn’t feel a slight twinge in their heart seeing January 1st? The world – the exact same world as yesterday – feels brand new. It is brimming with possibility and opportunity. And now, well, the 2021 version of you might just be the person who can take that opportunity.
So here is to hope.
In 2021, I have hope. I have hope that things can change, things can get better. Not because the calendar looks a little different, but because things can always change. Things can always get better. And if the start of a new year is what it takes to spark that change, hey, here’s to it.
God knows we all need a little bit more hope right about now.