A new year begins

New Year’s Day. It couldn’t have started worse: woken by a nightmare, to rain and wind slamming into the house and a text from a friend saying a mutual friend has terminal cancer. Also, I was stiff and sore. And you thought 2016 was bad. 

That’s a very inauspicious start to a new year, but I’m not superstitious about it – I don’t interpret this as a sign of things to come. Sometimes a cluster of events is just a cluster of events. 

It has put a dampener on my mood though. There’s something about a new year that generates optimism and inspires resolutions– a new year feels full of promise– and I won’t pretend the morning’s events didn’t undercut the mood. But at the same time, it underlined the promise of a New Year. 

If you knew that this year was your last, what would you do? 

Since I don’t know the answer to that question, it’s definitely worth pondering. But it’s also a difficult question to take seriously because, let’s face it, the probability of this not being my last is still greater. And what I’d do if this were my last year, and I didn’t have to ensure I have a career and money to live on for the next (I hope) 20+ years, might be quite different from what seems prudent in the event my life continues. 

Still. It’s not a bad idea to think about what I’d like to be looking back on this time next year. And if I’m not here to look back in it, hopefully it will still have been worth looking back on.