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Monday, December 31, 2012

Out With the Old, In With the New Year

In the middle of winter we get a new shot at life, year after year. What it means to us is often the result of customs around us growing up and/or today. What it could do for us is only a moment´s worth of reflection away.
Do we really want something new in the New Year? Why now? It does seem a little forced that with January 1st all our bad habits are supposed to have ended and a completely new and vice-free life ought to come out of nowhere, functioning fully on day one as only a life can be that has been honed for years and years. Even if that was possible, it would be very uncomfortable and scary for most of us. So why even wishing for it? I would see it as an alibi act.

We all know from board games that when we are sent back to square one we hope that this time it will be different, namely better. Except, just because the calendar year starts all over again, our life does not. We are stringing each year up like pearls, one after the other. Together they result in a necklace or bracelet, with each pearl showing. We can certainly pick prettier pearls each year to add, more precious and shiny. The pearls from years past will still be contributing to the overall look. I for myself love the eclectic look, where various sizes and shapes come together to a unique appearance. That is also how I see life: unique. The goal is not perfection, it is aliveness.

A life wants to be lived. Sure it helps if we are free of unhealthy habits and if we choose well and such. But a life without any struggles or miss-steps - however little - does not seem to be very flowing and alive. It can get very rigid.

For example, if we achieve the perfect diet - certainly that is a classic New Year´s resolution - our social life will suffer, our taste buds might get bored (although healthy food can be delicious!) and our flexibility will be replaced by rigidity. Better to aim for an overall healthy diet with room for our social life, occasional breaks from the regiment and a no-beating-myself-up policy in case of slips. That way the body and mind are healthy and not burdened by a strict set of rules.  A good balance is a nice basis for a fulfilled and happy life. Perfectionism - no matter what way, no matter how healthy the life style - can lead us to obsessive compulsive behavior, which is not good for our psyche, and eventually our body and overall life.

That said, I wish you a wonderful New Year with a certain lightness to it, with sparkles, successes and a good balance, with room for error and wonders.

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