Jeanette Sekan
Jeanette Sekan
By Jeanette Sekan
The Cody (Wyo.) Enterprise

I’m not sure I’m ready for a new year.

We’ve survived the frenetic pace of the recent holiday season. We’re in the midst of a cold snap. It’s a time to look at what is possible, as well as deal with what is necessary.

A new year brings thoughts of what is to come as well as nostalgia for what we’ve left behind or unfinished. The start of a new year is always a confluence of conflicting emotions and thoughts.

Many of us feel the pressure of deadlines for tax-related issues. The first 31 days of the new year seem to have its own speed, and it never feels quite slow enough to handle the inevitable Jan. 31 terminus.

Many of us feel energized with the possibility of a “new you” via a new exercise/diet regimen. Many of us want to figure out what we can and can’t control and what to do with that revelation. Some want to limit worrying. Good luck with that one.

Some dive into organizing, sorting, purging and generally striving to control the stuff of our lives. Junk drawers, tool cabinets, closets, clothes and files are on the list for a makeover. Some of us accomplish this; some lose interest halfway through. Some just look at the various areas and decide to do something more fun.

In years past, I would be starting off the new year with pen and paper compiling my never-ending lists. I had lists about many things: what clothes, books, other detritus to donate or trash; books to read; old files to purge, new files to make; next year’s Christmas ideas; update the calendar, and so on. Soon the lists became overwhelming.

Then, I would resolve to simplify. In the end, as with most people, my lists were soon lost and my accomplishments markedly different than original intentions. I relied on memory and multi-tasking acumen.

Today, both are less applicable than before. Memory is adjusting to age-related changes; multi-tasking was always a delusion of grandeur, even though I still like to think I was a grand master of multi-tasking. My memory adjustments let me continue to delude myself with that one.

I think a new year is still something more than changing the month on the calendar. I think the various exercises or traditions we go through at this time is healthy and motivating. Whether we always follow through or accomplish all that we hope is sometimes less important than going through the process.

Doing this is a way of assessing and categorizing our life to date. It’s a sort of self-motivating opportunity to self reflect and look at what we have, what we’ve outgrown or what is not longer useful or healthy for us to continue to accumulate.

It’s also a time to look ahead into unchartered territory. None of us knows what is going to be asked of us in the upcoming year. Many of us will experience opportunities for growth and happiness. Many of us will experience unexpected, heart-wrenching loss.

Whatever life has in store for 2018, hopefully we’ll be ready.

Jeanette Sekan is a columnist for the Cody Enterprise in Cody, Wyo. and a former resident of Ohio. The award-winning newspaper is owned by Sage Publishing Co. of Cody, Wyo. Jeanette’s columns are published in The Highland County Press, courtesy of the author and the Cody Enterprise (