“So this is the New Year. And I don’t feel any different.”
– Ben Gibbard, Nick Harmer, Jason McGerr, Chris Walla
It’s not unusual to feel the sinking sense of anticlimax on New Years Day; we’re trained to believe the new year will bring us a sense of newness, relief, hope for the future. I liked what Neil deGrasse Tyson had to say about January 1st, 2014:
We celebrate the calendar change and the promise of sloughing off the difficulty of the previous year, or maybe just the boredom. I like new things, and I embrace change. It can be exhilarating and a little anxiety inducing, but above all, it is NEW and that’s what makes the promise of the new year so appealing to me, and ultimately disappointing. Every year I try in vain to lower my expectations, but I still wake up on January 1st with the nagging feeling that it just doesn’t feel new enough.
Last year–as I mentioned in my little retrospective post–was difficult, but it was certainly marked with many happy moments. So what do I wish for 2014? A successful transplant for Derek, happiness, relief, inspiration, motivation, the ability to breathe mindfully, and a bucket full of luck, grace and all-around good fortune. Too much? Too vague perhaps? Setting myself up for failure? Maybe. I think it’s good to aim high, expect a possibility of failure or the chance I’ll make a mistake and then just turn right around and try, try again.
And on the subject of mistakes, perhaps I’ll share just one more thought from a person who writes better than me (or is it ‘I’? See? Embracing failure and mistakes in one sentence.) I give you, Mr. Neil Gaiman:
I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.
Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.
So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.
Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.
Make your mistakes, next year and forever.
I just realized that I quoted two very smart Neil’s in this post. I am going to take that to be a very good omen.