A fellow blogger in Australia posted this message for her readers this morning (thanks, Kate).
A New Year is like a blank slate, it has 12 chapters and 365 pages, and you are the author. My wish for you this year is that you write the most beautiful story possible for yourself. Happy New Year.
Her message speaks of hope and the belief that we can (try to) be masters of our own destiny. I hope we can all embrace this sentiment.
Another way of looking at the potential for the year ahead for each of us personally is by considering the widely circulated story of 86,400.
Imagine there is a bank account that credits your account each morning with $86,400. It carries over no balance from day to day.
Every evening the bank deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to use during the day. What would you do? Draw out every cent, of course.
Each of us has such a bank. Its name is TIME.
Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds.
Every night it writes off as lost whatever of this you have failed to invest to a good purpose.
It carries over no balance. It allows no overdraft. Each day it opens a new account for you. Each night it burns the remains of the day. If you fail to use the day’s deposits, the loss is yours. There is no drawing against “tomorrow.”
You must live in the present on today’s deposits. Invest it so as to get from it the utmost in health, happiness and success. The clock is running. Make the most of today.
To realize the value of ONE YEAR, ask a student who has to repeat a school year.
To realize the value of ONE MONTH, ask a mother who has given birth to a premature baby.
To realize the value of ONE WEEK, ask the editor of a weekly newspaper.
To realize the value of ONE HOUR, ask the lovers who are waiting to meet.
To realize the value of ONE MINUTE, ask a person who just missed a train.
To realize the value of ONE SECOND, ask someone who just avoided an accident.
To realize the value of ONE MILLISECOND, ask the person who won a silver medal at the Olympics.
Appreciate every moment that you have. And treasure it even more if you were able to share it with someone special, special enough to spend your time with. And remember time waits for no one.
Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.
– Author unknown
Makes you think, doesn’t it? But the reminder that time is precious shouldn’t be interpreted to mean that you should be busy all the time or you are wasting this precious gift. That’s just being busy for busyness’ sake. That’s just causing stress, or putting off what’s really important to you.
Maybe the best thing you can do with that gift of time is take a nap. Give yourself the gift of self-care.
Maybe the best thing you can do with that gift of time is to take a walk in nature and replenish your sense of well-being.
Maybe the best thing you can do with that gift of time is read a book, or maybe even write a book.
Maybe the best thing you can do with that gift of time is to Zoom (or Skype or FaceTime) with a small child and read him or her a story.
What you shouldn’t do is let $10 of that $86,400 – or 10 seconds if you want to be less poetic – cause you to forego the remaining $86,390 – or ruin the remaining 86,390 seconds if metaphor’s not your thing. That’s what happens when someone upsets you with negative words or actions and you let it get to you. When you let 10 seconds of meanness or just thoughtlessness on the part of someone else affect you for the rest of the day. Don’t let resentment, anger, perceived guilt, or self-doubt spoil that gift of time. Learn to let it go. It’s your gift of time, not the naysayers.
I hope we can all find ways to embrace the gift of a new year, the gift of 365 days’ worth of 36,400 seconds. May we all be able to look back on 2021 and take comfort in how well we wrote our 12 chapters.