New Year’s Day. A day like any other but we endow it with the power to make us begin again. As if the day itself could do it. Give us the strength to behave differently than we have ever behaved before. The old New Year’s resolution trick that we’re dead sure will work this time. The truth is every moment of every day can be a beginning. And we’ve got the power to make it so.
That’s what’s so hope-filled about longing for a child, that’s what’s so hope-filled about allowing ourselves to want something–anything–badly enough to actually change our behavior. And by doing so, to change the course of our lives. No need to wait for New Year’s Day to infuse us with strength to begin again.
And yet, New Year’s Day is a fine time to take stock: What is it that I want badly enough now, to change my behavior? What is most important to me? How do I raise the bar, become a little clearer about my priorities and how do I reflect that, in my behavior? How do I care a little less about what other people will think or do in response to my actions and stay true to what matters most to me?
I will continue to ask these questions in the next couple of weeks as I take a much needed break from email and work and meet my older daughter Ellena in Spain. She is on a gap year, has just completed a Living Routes Study Abroad Program called Peace, Justice and the Environment on Kibbutz Lotan in Israel., and is on her way to join an organic-farm-community in Southern Spain. I’ll be spending a week with her before she begins work on the farm.
I haven’t been out of the country in years, except for a couple of trips to Canada, am not much of a traveler, but the prospect of hanging out with Ellena made me book the flight–even overcome the seemingly insurmountable obstacle of a long expired passport–without a heartbeat of hesitation.
So, I’m off! Hope to be back for our first Rebel with a Cause Phone circle on the 11th. That is definitely something I’m clear about: Raising the bar on the level of activism we engage in together. It matters to me. It’s important. It’s time. I’ve always loved this quote by Hillel, an ancient Jewish scholar and sage: If I’m not for myself, who will be for me? If I’m only for myself, who am I? And if not now, when?
How about you? What new beginning do you embark on this New Year’s Day? How will you be “for yourself” a little more than you were yesterday? And what is it that’s ripe for action for you?