Throughout much of the world, New Year’s Day is observed on January 1, the first day of the year on the modern Gregorian calendar. It was also celebrated on that day when the Julian calendar was used throughout the Roman Empire beginning in 45 BC. According to Wikipedia, “Romans originally dedicated New Year’s Day to Janus, the god of gates, doors, and beginnings for whom the first month of the year (January) is named.” Janus was a two-faced god, with one face looking forward and the other one looking back. With Janus as the symbol of the New Year, there’s little wonder why the New Year became a time of reflection — a time to look back on past mistakes, to resolve to improve, and, then, to look forward to a brighter future. According to the Wikipedia article, “With most countries now using the Gregorian calendar as their de facto calendar, New Year’s Day is probably the world’s most celebrated public holiday, often observed with fireworks at the stroke of midnight as the new year starts in each time zone.”
One thing that every New Year brings with it is hope. Alfred Lord Tennyson once wrote, “Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering ‘it will be happier’…” Every dawn should find us at the threshold of better day filled with hope; but, New Year’s Day has always been special in that regard. The opposite of hope is fear and fear can be a powerful obstacle to progress. One of the things most people fear is making mistakes. That is why I like what Neil Gaiman wrote:
“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.” [“My New Year Wish,” 31 December 2011]
Of course, it’s really the “doing something” that Gaiman is celebrating, not the mistakes made along the way. He knows, however, that mistakes are always made and he doesn’t want the fear of making them to stop you from living life to its fullest. New Year’s Day has become a day for making resolutions. To build on Gaiman’s ideas, I hope this year you resolve to do things that you’ve never done before — big, glorious, amazing things. If you can’t change the world, then change yourself or be the catalyst for change in someone else’s life. Robert Cavett stated, “Character is the ability to carry out a good resolution long after the excitement of the moment has passed.” This year would be a great year to show how much character you have.
So, in the midst of recovering from last night’s celebrations, watching bowl games, enjoying the Tournament of Roses Parade, and sharing food with family and friends, take a little time to plan great things for the coming year. From all of us at Enterra Solutions®, we hope you have the happiest and most successful year ever.