A new year – a new outlook

Tomorrow is New Year’s Day for the Christian Era calendar. It hasn’t always been that way. New Year’s Day used to be March 25. Really? Most English-speaking (Anglican) countries, started their year on Lady Day, or the Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin. But then about 250 years ago, it got moved to its present date, which really confused things for a while.

Did you know that the date on the day George Washington was born was February 11, 1731, not February 22, 1732? The latter date is what it got converted to in September 1752, when England (Anglican) accepted and adopted the Gregorian (Catholic) calendar which started the year on January 1, and fixed a lot of problems with the old Julian calendar system. The Gregorian calendar started the concept of leap year, which prevented the date of the spring equinox from shifting over time. The spring equinox, which is used to determine the date of Easter, is very close to the old-style New Year’s Day of March 25! (Probably not a coincidence, but I don’t feel like researching it.)

Okay, I’ve already gotten way off track. This is all just trivia, and has nothing to do with why I’m writing, other than FYI, but now you know something new. Regardless of what day a new year starts, it’s really just an imaginary milestone. In reality, it’s just another day. In our minds, though, it is a ritual of closing a door to the past and opening a new door to the possibilities that life presents us. With this in mind, every day should really be New Year’s Day, shouldn’t it?

So as this new calendar year begins, make it a new beginning. Shed the old negative ways, and replace them with a positive outlook, and a positive reaction to everything that happens in your life. Just as you have a choice to make a new year’s resolution, you have a choice whether to wake up each day with happiness in your heart, or to wake up with a burden on your shoulders. It’s all in how you choose to react to it. Sure, nothing is perfect, and there will always be challenges. But we can choose to let them get the best of us, or we can choose to conquer them.

That’s what New Year’s Day is all about: Conquering the past. You don’t need resolutions, you just need resolution – to do the best you possibly can with what you’ve got, and to find a way to make it the best experience you can have. You don’t need money. You don’t need fame. You don’t need a credit card to ride this train [oops – that’s a song]. You only need to be the best you can possibly be. It’s all anyone could ask of you, and more importantly, it’s the most you can expect of yourself. One day, your best might be better than it is on another day, but as long as you’re doing your best, who can deny your effort?

Make this day and every day a blessed one, and each day that you do, you’ll have a Happy New Year all over again!