Okay, we have all tired of hearing/saying that 2020 was a horrible year. Sure, all of us hope that the next one will be better as if something can really change just because our calendar says that one period is behind us, and a new one is awaiting us. Yet, if we don’t believe that it will be better and that we can make it better, what is the purpose of anything? What about New Year’s resolutions? Who will quit smoking? Me, for the sixty-seventh time. Who will start exercising, start writing a new book, start reading a book that has stood forgotten and dusty at the furthest corner of the bookshelf…
Let’s remember what some great minds had to say about New Year:
Edith Lovejoy Pierce: We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.
Poetic and optimistic, fills me with hope.
Neil Gaiman: I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something. So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life. Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it. Make your mistakes, next year and forever.
Sometimes, only Neil can make something all of us know sound new, original, fresh ‒ perfect.
Alfred Lord Tennyson:
Smiles from the threshold of the year to come,
Whispering ’it will be happier’…
Nicely put! Sounds promising, dear Mr. Tennyson.
Mark Twain: Yesterday, everybody smoked his last cigar, took his last drink and swore his last oath. Today, we are a pious and exemplary community. Thirty days from now, we shall have cast our reformation to the winds and gone to cutting our ancient shortcomings considerably shorter than ever.
New Year’s Day: Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.
Mark brings us back down to earth. And makes us smile ‒ and realize that he is probably right.
Ellen Goodman: We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives… not looking for flaws, but for potential.
Some more optimism is necessary after mister Twain!
T. S. Eliot: For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.
I love the certainty that radiates from this simple sentence. So simple, yet motivational in a quiet way.
L. M. Montgomery: Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?
It sure is nice to think like that ‒ and embrace the chance to follow mister Gaiman’s great advice.