Calendars are about to expire, new ones flip into place. As you get older, time moves faster. In 2014, some months zipped by, others dragged.
What’s interesting about a calendar is that it does more than mark time, it can set the pace.
January and February, lacking big holidays, can drag by because it is also dark and cold (in the Northern hemisphere.)
I remember clearly living in New England and celebrating the mid-February day when I arrived home without turning on my headlights. It was a cause for celebration.
If you keep a journal, you might make some interesting notes today. The mileage on your car–next year, you can see how far you’ve come. The price of a gallon of gas, a gallon of milk, a dozen eggs. Those items rise and fall and it’s interesting to see if you can find any connections. It’s also interesting to stick a photo of yourself or your family into the journal at the end of the year.
When I was in graduate school, I read the diaries of hundreds of immigrant women from the 1890s. They told about their ordinary days, but finding the descriptions of what life was like, what bread cost, how dress hems got muddy because there weren’t storm sewers–or sidewalks–made for interesting reading.
In those diaries were real stories–and real history. Personal stories about historical events. Without that information, I would have never been able to write a dissertation. Understood the world as I find it now. Some of their wisdom is still with me.
For now, write down the things you want to leave behind in 2014. You don’t need to bring everything along into 2015. Pack light, but bring dancing shoes. It’s going to be that kind of year.
—Quinn McDonald is looking forward to 2015.