It’s December 31st. There are just a handful of hours left in 2016.
The last week was supposed to be spent traveling, a couple of flights and a few days away in the north of Europe but sadly my wife and I fell foul of a nasty virus and we spent those days, days which we had so looked forward to, under blankets at home instead of away, exploring new and interesting places which need tissues while knocking back spiced rum and orange hot toddies between medication. We are still in the midst of the flu but I see sunnier days ahead.
We, as humans, travel a linear path. What looks like a series of choices when we are focused on the route ahead can turn on a penny and those ‘branches’ of options that exist only to the prospective traveler look more like a single winding road when we turn our heads and look back on where we can come from and that’s ok. It is how we deal with and process our personal histories.
One of things I was happy for over the last few days was streaming media. The ability to sit in relative comfort and engage in videos, movies, programs and music without the need to leave the house to refresh the content.. something that would have seemed like a miracle in my youth. The sad loss of so many well loved actors and musicians in 2016 has led to our exploring new ground as well as revisiting previous favorites.
As I said, in a few hours my clock will tick over into January 1st 2017. When that bell chimes in I’ll be in a new year. In the theme of New Year’s and as a little nod to a recent loss, we watched ‘When Harry met Sally’ today, I’m a sucker for a little romance and I really enjoy the humor in that film. There is a theme that runs throughout the movie, a need to be with something when the new year strikes in. To be next to someone who means something. To get a kiss. A nation of hearts will make resolutions. Perspectives will change. Goals will be set.
While I wonder how many look back and think, ‘last year’.. and see that zig zag trail, the conclusions and events that have resulted from the choices they have made. Did they keep to their resolutions? Are they very different from the 2015 version of themselves? I know I’m not.
But goal posts are important. We need them. They help.
One of the things I love about the Tanakh is that it’s about ‘now’. Not one evening at the end of the year. Not one bell toll. Not one special second. It’s about choosing to change ‘now’. Making each second as important as possible. Being the ‘best’ we can. We don’t always manage. I certainly fail more than I succeed.
I’m hoping that when I look back I’ll see, rather than a series of leaps from story to story, a crazy line that marks the journey thus far, I’ll see a list of ‘good’ choices. Places that are defined from my taking the option in that second to be ‘good’.
We don’t always get to make the trips and walk the paths that we hope for but we will walk a path all the same. We can choose to make it a positive one. Second by second.. and if that is to demanding, day by day.