When a barrage of status updates, text messages, and holiday cards with families dressed alike were sent out last Friday to herald the arrival of 2011, one post by a friend stood out in particular. He relayed: “January – Janus – Janus is the Roman god of gates and doors, beginnings and endings, and hence represented with a double-faced head, each looking in opposite directions.”
The visual that this bit of mythology inspired seemed appropriate at the time, as it helped explain why I was feeling a lot like Linda Blair from the Exorcist… trying to get a hold of my crazy, spinning head and having trouble knowing exactly where to focus: Should I take stock of what happened in 2010 or list my hopes for the 365 days ahead? How am I supposed to beat Laurel at a game of Scrabble when I repel tiles with vowel letters? Did that first grade teacher really just ask me if I’m 17 years old? Natalie Portman is pregnant?!
Between mental rants, I expressed my frustration over the build-up and pressure that talk of the New Year brings with one of my best friends via Skype. Instead of feeling a sense of possibility and promise, I told her I felt stressed about finding the perfect way to ring in 2011, ready to get through the weekend, and guilty for my inability to get past this funk. This is what she wrote to me: “It’s okay to tell it like it is, however it is… really, it’s all we’ve got time for.”
And last night, as if being visited by a third Ghost of New Year’s, this Scrooge had the good fortune of dining with one of my favorite couples, who among many other reasons are most recently amazing for gifting each other stilts for Christmas. Jill, who is an ICU nurse, talked about how we can be so oblivious to the remarkable things happening within, to, and around us when we’re busy thinking about the past, worrying and planning for the future, or numb to the present. One moment in time holds so much power and can mean so many different things to a host of people and “we’re just not grateful enough,” she said, “for any of it.”
Perhaps that’s not a new thought, but it’s still a beautiful one… especially when set to pictures. Here’s to a year ahead full of MOMENTS and WORDS and to having the curiosity and compassion to find out what they mean to each of us. Check out these videos: