So, another New Year. When we say New Year, the first thing that usually comes to mind are our resolutions, along with what we wish for in the New Year, as if the date of January 1st absolutely had to be a turning point in one’s life. We don’t save these resolutions for, say, President’s Weekend, or Hallowe’en; there they are, at the start of the calendar year. Some might say their birthdays come with a year’s resolutions, but they’d be few and far between. Nope, it’s January 1st.
And what are these resolutions we’re rushing off to make? First of all, they’re values that make us better people, or the world better, or just make us healthier, prettier, kinder human beings. We resolve to use that gym membership, not snack between meals, spend more time with someone, be more patient with someone, or work toward world peace. No one sits down and puts, ‘I resolve to pick up my feet when I walk’ at the top of their list, or ‘I’m going to chew more slowly.’ We have high hopes for ourselves on January 1st. To paraphrase Mathew Arnold’s poem Dover Beach, the year “seems to lie before us like a land of dreams, so various, so beautiful, so new . . .”
And then what happens?
Well, for most of us, those resolutions are soon forgotten. They pretty much fly out with the spring cleaning, if one does spring cleaning, or get shoved to the back of our minds along with the stuff shoved to the back of the closet. But on an FB page from one of my writers’ groups, one author asked for a single word you felt should sum up 2018—no resolutions required, no world peace for now, just a single word to keep in mind for the New Year. My word was progression.
Why progression? I see it as growth, movement, and change. It can be something as banal as finally moving house, which I’ve been trying to do since August, but I actually had growth as an author more in mind, progress toward goals, change for the better.
So, no resolutions required here. What would be your word, and why?