You are currently viewing Endings and beginnings

Endings and beginnings

NEW beginnings can be likened to what happens when we plan a seed: it has to die to give way to new life. Similarly, 2014 had to die – come to an end – to give way to 2015. This is therefore the perfect time to look at both the end of last year and the birth of the New Year – and what lies ahead.
What, in essence, does the end of 2014 mean?  Have you made an end-of-year evaluation of what happened in the past year? Of the resolutions you set – if any, that is – which ones did you manage to attain, and which ones did you fail to attain?
The trouble with making resolutions, though, is that, in most cases, it has become a start-of-the-year ritual that people do mechanically. They want to be able to say “me too” when in a circle of friends declaring that they made resolutions for the New Year. Which is why some people decided to make only one resolution at the beginning of each year: to make no resolutions! There is no need, though, to resolve not to make resolutions – you only need to assess the resolutions you made and find out why some were not attained. Could it be they were unrealistic and unattainable? Could it be your resolutions need adjusting?
Yes, adjusting, because that unfulfilled resolution can be carried over into the New Year. Crossing over into the New Year is pretty much like crossing a bridge. In other words, some good things need not be abandoned; continue with them in the New Year. New beginnings, after all, are not just about letting go of the past, but also embracing the future.
That is the point, I guess, which C JoyBell C, the renowned poet, makes when she states, “Ends are not bad things, they just mean that something else is about to begin. And there are many things that don’t really end, anyway, they just begin again in a new way. Ends are not bad and many ends aren’t really an ending; some things are never-ending.”
While it is great to continue with the good things, it is also important not to overdo them, or to continue dancing even when the drum has long stopped beating. The last year might have been great, but for some people it marked the end of some good things: a good contract or project that expired at year-end, for instance.  Oftentimes we want to continue to live in yesterday’s joys, or even pains; but the New Year means beginning afresh, leaving behind what belongs to yesteryear.
Paulo Coelho, the Brazilian writer, has a point when he writes in “The Zahir”: “It is always important to know when something has reached its end. Closing circles, shutting doors, finishing chapters, it doesn’t matter what we call it; what matters is to leave in the past those moments in life that are over.”
Forget about the failures and triumphs of 2014 – and by that I do not mean do not learn from them – and focus on what you will and should do in 2015. If you made mistakes in 2014, the New Year gives you the opportunity to make amends. If you messed up 2014, surely you can make sure you do not mess up 2015. Listen to Arnold Bennett, the English novelist: “The chief beauty about time is that you cannot waste it in advance. The next year, the next day, the next hour are lying ready for you, as perfect, as unspoiled, as if you had never wasted or misapplied a single moment in all your life. You can turn over a new leaf every hour if you choose.”