2009As the end of 2008 approached, the onslaught of list posts increased”

“The Top 10 …”

“The Things I Learned in 2008”

And so on. Which then led to the inevitable list posts for 2009 predictions:

“How to Make 2009 the Best Year Ever”

“The 5 Things You Can Do to Start the Year Off Right”

and let’s not forget, “New Year’s Resolutions for 2009”

It’s enough to make your head spin. What is it with the need to recap a year and then immediately start off with a list of things you want to “do better” in the next? Sure we want to use the end of a year to look back and review what did and did not work. Pat ourselves on the back for our successes and shake our head for the failures. After all if we don’t know our own history aren’t we doomed to repeat it? The successes we don’t mind repeating. It’s the failures we’d like to avoid in the future.

I was chatting with my sister recently who shared this observation, “Everyone has a better beginning of the year than they do an end of the year.”

“Really, is that true? If so, why is that the case?” was my puzzled response.

“People start the year full of hope and optimism. They’re excited and ready to make things happen or change, but as the year progresses they get bogged down and lose their energy” she elaborated.

This got me thinking about beginnings and endings. If we are energized by the beginning and not so energized at the end, then why not adjust our perception of beginning and endings? What makes the beginning of a year any different than the beginning of a month, a day or an hour?

Of course it’s the frequency that makes the difference. Every hour is too often. Every day is too mundane. Every month blends into the next. It’s the changing of the year that strikes a cord within us. Having to kiss goodbye to 2008 and say hello to 2009 gives us time to pause in the busyness of our lives. Time to reflect on what has been and plan for what, we hope, will be.

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