The New Year is what (and when) you make it

All too true. I expect my gym to be way busy in January.
All too true. I expect my gym to be way busy in January.

So we’re winding down the year … in North America, anyway.

The Chinese New Year will be marked Jan. 31, with the Vietnamese celebrating their Tết Nguyên Đán the same day. The Persian New Year in Iran falls on March 21, and in Bali it will be March 31, with the observance including a day of silence.

In Tibet, the year opens on our March 2. It also will not be 2014 there, but 2141, the year of the wood horse.

Going by religion? Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, will run the evenings of Sept. 24 through 26. The Islamic New Year will not begin until Nov. 4, 2014.

You don’t have to jump on the Dec. 31 bandwagon. Reflection, rejuvenation, renewal can happen anytime you are truly ready.

I like the Jewish tradition of atonement, in which one is to reflect on one’s wrongdoing over the year and both seek and offer forgiveness. Frankly, though, I have been all too aware of my wrongdoing and shortcomings for the past two years or so, and it’s high time to forgive myself and move on. I’m not saying I’m actually ready to forgive, mind you, but I am all for not beating myself up anymore.

I also am looking at Rebelle Society’s 30 questions to ask yourself before you die. It was an exercise in reflection upon turning 30, but as I’m staring hard at 50, I have even more fodder and urgency.

Resolutions I’m not so into. I’ve tried them before (2012, for example), but they weren’t a system change.

Instead, I’m taking stock and making some changes, but not promises. Darren Rowse and Chris Guillebeau are among my influences.

I have a few other ideas brewing. What about you?

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