If you're like me, the prospect of the new year is always intriguing and appealing, as a time of new beginnings.
It doesn't matter that it comes in the middle of winter, with nothing really suggesting new things.
Granted, we've just passed the solstice, which means that the days are getting longer and nights are getting shorter, ultimately leading to the blossoming of spring. But while we know the promise of the solstice, for most of us, it doesn't exactly feel like a time of newness.
Even so, as the calendar turns from the old year to the new one, we are somehow compelled to turn our gaze from what's behind to what we hope will be ahead.
An ancient New Years custom from Ireland involved checking to see which way the wind is blowing at midnight on New Year's Eve. Will it blow in prosperity and wellbeing? Or will it blow ill?
What do you see when you look forward to the new year?
Are you tired of past challenges and difficulties? Hoping to close the door on problems that beset you last year?
Do you look back at old habits that have tripped you up, and plan to bring about some changes in the coming year? Do you reflect back, and appreciate big changes that have happened since you heralded in the last New Year?
Sometimes change can come at a slow and subtle pace, and it is only in looking back that great strides forward become evident. Lack of change can be more obvious as well after the passage of some time, if things are much the same as they were this time last year.
At this time of year, people are often more able to move ahead with optimism, and expectation for better things. For many, it's a time of making resolutions.
You decide if your resolutions will be big or small, next to impossible, or within the realm of possibility. You decide whether or not to follow through on them, or whether the drag of old habits will snuff out those resolutions after the first few months ... or perhaps the first few days ...
For that matter, you decide whether you want to go the resolution route at all.