Someone back in Julian and/or Gregorian days, decided January 1st would mark the starting point. I know this because Wikipedia tells me so.
Personally I think winter solstice would be a more logical moment to mark the moment when the new year begins. That's when I imagine my Northern European ancestors breathing a collective sigh of relief that the sun is returning. As a friend of mine, who suffers from SAD reflected on December 22nd, "Today is 2 seconds longer than yesterday...we have turned the corner...".
But whenever or wherever that moment in time exists; the moment when we, as inhabitants of Spaceship Earth, begin a new revolution around the sun, it is a moment for reflection. Much like my birthday, when I began my own journey, on New Year's Day, I tend to take an inventory of what has passed, and what is yet to come.
When I was a younger person, I tended to look towards the future. I would make resolutions, set goals, review my dreams. My resolutions were mostly the usual suspects; lose weight; quit smoking; exercise more. As I entered my forties they centered on education...I earned my bachelor's degree in my forties, my master's in my fifties.
I have achieved most of my annual goals...but I think I will always be a plump person, and my perennial resolve to be satisfied with that, is constant.
Now that my past is longer than my future, my resolution is simply to be thankful for every breath.
There is a thanksgiving prayer, by that very famous author Anonymous, that reads, in part,
We thank Thee for joys both great and simple —
For wonder, dreams and hope;
For the newness of each day;
For laughter and song and a merry heart...
For the wisdom of the old;
For the courage of the young;
For the promise of the child;
For the strength that comes when needed...
This year I renew my resolve to love my life, to respect my children, to appreciate my spouse.
This year I resolve, more than ever, to strive for a merry heart.
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