My mother says January 1st is a metaphor for the whole year – the way you spend this day sets the tone for the way your year will go. Having spent most of my childhood with this mantra, I’ve grown accustomed to making careful, curated choices for how I spend the first day of each new year; reading books, spending time with people I love, making home-cooked meals, journalling, learning something new – all of these are oft-repeated in the way I spend January 1st every year, because I want the rest of my year to be filled with moments like these.
This year, my January 1st began a little differently. I woke up and switched on my kettle to make a cup of chai. The extension spike guard spritzed, flames burst out and my kettle was completely fried.
This threw me completely. If what happens on January 1st is indeed a metaphor for how the rest of your year will go, what on earth was 2019 going to be like for me? Was this a sign of more disaster and trouble headed my way?
Here’s the thing about metaphors though – they can mean what you want them to mean. So, when I envision what might lie ahead for me in 2019, I choose to think my flaming spike guard and fried kettle are metaphors for …
… the importance of perspective. Yes, I had a kitchen accident first thing in the morning. But, it could have been so much worse. Most days, I put the kettle on to boil and leave the kitchen to do other things. Today, I was standing right there and could quickly stop it from turning into a bigger disaster.
… self-reliance; realising that things may blow up (or, more mildly, go wrong) – even with the best-laid plans – and that I have the capacity to deal with them.
… letting go of attachment to possessions. The kettle was gifted to me by someone dear, and it made me sad to see it fried. Even so, I know my connection to this person is deeper and that’s worth holding onto more than an object I own.
… (as my best friend put it,) a year that promises to be full of sizzle and adventure!
Happy new year! I am excited to meet my 2019. May yours be everything you want it to be :)