Happy New Year!

No, I haven’t gotten my national holidays confused. And yes, I realize we just finished celebrating the 4th of July. But in some ways, July always feels to me like the start of a new year. It probably has something to do with two “perpetual calendars” I use every day.

One is a flip calendar that includes “A Year of Daily Wisdom.” I keep it on an end table in our family room, and enjoy reading each day’s words of wisdom when I sit down to pray and meditate before I start working. On most days, all I have to do is flip the calendar over to the next page. But when I reach the last page, on June 30, I have to turn it completely around and start all over again on July 1. This makes it somewhat of a ritual – kind of like changing the time on all the clocks in the house at the beginning and end of Daylight Saving Time, although it doesn’t take nearly as long.

Same with my other perpetual calendar, which is a decorative wall hanging in the shape of a quaint country cottage. A little window-box ledge holds three small, wooden cubes – one with different months printed on each side, and two with numbers that combine to show the days of the month. I keep that calendar at my kitchen desk, where I do my planning and organizing, and every morning I flip the cubes to show the new date. At the beginning of July, however, I have to dig through my desk drawer to find the cube that lists July through December, to replace the one that has January through June.

So when July rolls around each year, it feels like a mini-New Year – which is a good time to look back at the first half of the year and take note of what I set out to do and what I’ve achieved so far, and to look ahead and see what I still want to accomplish. Maybe I need to course-correct or pick up the pace on some of my plans and projects. Or maybe there are new goals and dreams I want to start or pursue. I can do this at any time, of course, and on any day. But somehow it feels more solid, more strong, and more promising, to do so at the start of a new year. Or half-year.

In looking back to the beginning of this year – the one that started in January – I realize that I’m still going strong with a new habit I wanted to develop, I’m behind schedule on a few of my projects, and I’m ready to start exploring a new path I’ve been thinking about. And in looking forward from the “New Year” that starts in July, I can see more clearly what I want to keep, eliminate, or change, and what results I intend to achieve by doing so.

If you ask me, this is a great way to celebrate the New Year, whether it’s the one that comes with snow, champagne, and “Auld Lang Syne,” or with fireworks, picnics, and a 4th of July parade.

The column “Find Your Buried Treasure” appears weekly in the Chanhassen (MN) Villager. This column was published on July 9, 2015.
©Betty Liedtke, 2015

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