It is a brand new year. January ushers in cold nights, short days, new books, and lofty goals.  With the beginning of a new decade, we tend to look back on the lives we’ve led and measure them according to where we thought we would be when we were young and full of aspirations. Sometimes we are proud of the place we’ve ended up and sometimes we feel cheated or disappointed or angry. We thought we would have accomplished more by now. Expectations rarely make for happy people.

So as the dust settles from the holiday season, as the lights are taken down and the decorations relegated to their place in the attic, as we bring out the new calendars and buy all the vegetables, may we take a moment to settle into the person we are today. Whether it’s who we thought we would be or very far off, we are the people we are. 

So may we learn to love ourselves as we are right in this moment. May this year be full of magic and happy memories. May we make art: whether it’s simple or complex, easy or hard. May we read good books and hold the hand of someone who loves us. May we dance in the snow or walk in the rain or twirl in the sunshine. May our goals for the year not reflect an unattainable ideal, but may they make us the best version of ourselves. May our memories be many, or if not many, then may the ones we have be joyful and light.

May we love the people around us. May we love those who love us back and may we love those who are no longer capable of loving us. May we love those whose memories have failed, those with dementia, those with illness. May our lives be led by love instead of fear. 

As the crisp January days come to a close, may our hearts and minds be full of intention. And may it be the kind of intention that furthers us into our best selves.