The transition from one year to another always makes me sad.
A sense of leaving behind
I try not to be overly sentimental – life is tough enough without adding additional complexities to it – but the transition between years always gives me a sense of leaving behind people and events that become date-related memories. To put it another way, terms like “that happened earlier this year” suddenly change to “that happened in 2012”. Especially when someone has died during the year the sense of leaving them behind has always been palpable to me, as if the transition into the New Year is the final act of closure in mourning their departure and the first act of moving forward without them.
I first became aware of this feeling of “leaving behind” the first time that I was allowed to stay up late on New Year’s Eve night and experience the transition between the years. I was old enough to understand the excitement and significance surrounding the occasion but still young enough to anticipate something more that what happened. Maybe it developed from the sense of disappointment that I felt when the clock registered midnight, the city bells began to ring in the distance, but the actual transition was as normal as any movement of the clock. My life hadn’t changed in any way, shape, or form, and yet it was suddenly a “New Year” and cause for celebration. I remember asking my mom if that was all there was, and she seemed bemused by the question.
Fast forward many years and I still feel like asking that same question every December 31 as the clock marks off the hours, minutes, and seconds to January 1. I don’t know what would be an appropriate activity to satisfy my sense of absence but I guess I want the New Year to show up with a better entrance than it does.
2012 has been an interesting and exciting year for me and it will be a tough year to leave behind. I’ve gained and lost in many areas of my life but overall I’m way ahead. I have hopes and plans for 2013 and look forward to what the year has in store for me but again there is that feeling of leaving behind that I can’t shake. Perhaps I never will; it’s probably a part of my reflective personality that contributes to who I am and how I reconcile things.
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