Today is the first day of the rest of my life!

I guess the reason why we welcome the New Year so enthusiastically when nothing is new about it except the date on the calendar, is because it is an affirmation of our hope for a better tomorrow.

A New Year, with 366 days has just begun – 2016 is a Leap Year, remember? As on every New Year’s Day, we wish each other a happy year ahead; go to the temple; take the blessings of elders; try to spend our time with family and friends and look forward to the unfolding year in a very happy, positive and hopeful frame of mind.

Many of us also make resolutions to do this and that, correct mistakes, improve ourselves, take that holiday, visit friends in another city or join a course that we have always wanted to. Most importantly we review the year just ended and list our accomplishments and disappointments, memorable moments and so on.

Now, let us take each day as a unit of time. If you think about it, it is actually the first day of the rest of our lives. So what it means in effect is that we can have a New Year’s Day every day of our lives! It stands to reason then that we do whatever we do on New Year’s Eve every single day. Well just imagine how wonderful it would be if we could greet everyone with joy and hope, try to stay connected to those we love, make efforts to complete a task and so on and so forth every day!

Why this exercise, you ask me?

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I’m sure you will agree with me that with age and wisdom come the realisation of one’s mortality and the fleeting away of time. Note that I say ‘realisation’, meaning every human being is mortal, only we don’t see it in the swagger and confidence of youth. So I feel that a year is a long period to wait to do a review, especially if there has been a hard phase. So breaking up the year into small bits – of one day’s duration —  makes sense, doesn’t it?

I am reminded here of a children’s story Help! I am trapped in the first day of school! by Todd Strasser, where a schoolboy wakes up to his first day of school for days on end, till he gets to a perfect day, where he does all the right things and behaves impeccably. And  finally the next day he wakes up to the second day of school. And then there was the movie, Groundhog Day, which has the weatherman Bill Murray living in a time loop for days till he manages to figure out the priorities in his life and make amends. How wonderful it would be if we could get such a chance at least once in a lifetime!

Since such  things are bound to remain a fantasy, confined to books and movies, why not give ourselves a second chance, not every year, but every day by doing a review? Just as in a yearly review, one goes over the happenings of the previous day and tries to assimilate the lessons learnt (hopefully we learn them!) and being thankful for the good things and the achievement of that day – in the process putting some things right.

When we begin to do this exercise, every day becomes the first day of the rest of our lives. The very fact that we have woken up in the morning means that we have been given another chance to live life differently and better than the previous day and the succession of days become an opportunity to improving ourselves as human beings. It makes it easier doesn’t it, instead having to wait a whole year?

What is more, one need not have grey hair to come to this realisation. Everyone out there reading this post can begin today, this first day of 2016.

Go on, give yourself a gift of 24 hours every day for the rest of your lives.

And now for some trivia: While there are any number of New Year’s Days around the world including India, January 1 is the globally accepted one. One of the reasons behind choosing this date has to do with the two-faced ancient Roman god of beginnings, Janus. Of the two faces, one looks ahead and the other looks behind, symbolizing the past and the future. The month itself is named after Janus too. I find this symbolism quite apt, for even while looking ahead, we have to hark back to the past, its memories, history, and its lessons.

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 A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OF YOU!

(And remember to wish yourself every day this year, ok?)

Images Courtesy: Homepage: www.functionfixers.co.uk

This page top:wishestrumpet.com /Bottom: www.lauragais-patrimoine.fr  

23 comments

  1. This is the first time I am ‘noticing’ the face of Janus looking forward and behind. Liked the description of the statue!

    Maybe we might be careful while taking decisions on important or trivial matters if we think that we should not do anything to regret on thinking about the past year, i.e. if we are the type to seriously think about the past on the New Year’s day!

    As for me, hope I don’t make many mistakes this year! Yes, grey hair doesn’t help!

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  2. So very true. I’ve often wondered what it is about the ‘new year’ that makes people set resolutions like never before. Every day is truly a new one, and we just need to focus on the little joys and keep focussing on things that are important to us.
    Happy New Year, Zephyr. Enjoyed reading the post and could definitely relate to it.

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    1. Welcome to my space, Sid. It is great to know you are able to relate to the post. As I said in my reply to Rachna, we tend to forget over a long period the small events of our lives which if taken into cognizance can help us improve ourselves and the situations. And as you have pointed out — the little joys and things that are really important to us.

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  3. So very true! Every day is a new opportunity, a new chance at setting right what went wrong, a new day to feel grateful for everything you have. Very sensible, indeed. 🙂

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    1. Thanks for feeling the way I do, Rachna. When we really want to change ourselves, the best thing to do is to do the exercise frequently and then begin afresh. Since our our brain retains only the best and worst things that happens to us, this kind of review helps ground us and make us realise that life is full of small good and small mistakes, which if recognised, can help us improve.

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  4. What you say is so true..lekin kahan ho pata ha

    Wish you and your family a very happy and healthy new year!

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    1. It is much easier that you think, Renu. Give it a try. Wish you a very happy new year too!

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  5. Well said and I too am a believer of living each day to the fullest as if it is a New Year Day! Since, every day is not a Sunday, we need to brace up for taking life as it comes and putting our best foot forward, each day! Wishing you lots of happiness and good health on every day, Zephyr!

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    1. A very happy new year to you too, Rahul. I am glad you agree with me living every day as a new day. What about short periods for reviewing our lives and actions? Isn’t that a good idea too?

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  6. I felt energised just reading your post. Each day in our life is a gift, yet many of us would rather complain about the shortcomings.

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    1. It works, Purba, which is why I wrote the post. I think we should all give it a shot.

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  7. Abhi kya? you want me to think of everyday? no time, BM! as such the brain is so small….so much introspection mujh se nahi hoga…well, too lazy you know 😉 but seriously on a long run of one year…we forget many things…A Happy New Year to you and the whole family 😀 well, the kids 😛

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    1. Just because we have small brains is why we should shorten the review period. You can imagine how small mine is, if I want to do a daily review!! 😀 😀 Seriously though, it is really healing and liberating. Try it. I am, which is why I am asking you to.

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  8. alkagurha · · Reply

    Such a wise sensible post about starting afresh. In Hindi there is a saying Jab Jago Tabhie Savera Hai. Loved the trivia too.
    Wish you and your family a very happy new year.

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    1. so true, that saying! Hope is an important thing and it is what makes us start afresh. Like the spider in that story about Robert Bruce. Wish you a very happy new year too, Alka!

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  9. This was full of wisdom! Indeed a yearly review and celebration is too long a duration. Once a day,,, even once a month… is a much better plan.

    Your quote reminded me of this )http://isha.sadhguru.org/blog/video/plan-and-resolution-for-new-year/) video!

    A very very happy new year to you!

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    1. The problem with yearly reviews is that one tends to forget small achievements, small lessons and tend to focus only on the big earth shaking one, which might make us lose sight of a lot small but significant events and lessons and achievements. Thanks for sharing the video 🙂

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  10. Me – I do the reverse. New Year’s day is like every other day for me 🙂 It is probably for people like me, but more socially connected, that we set up all these special days so that, by peer pressure at least, they do something 🙂

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    1. Ha ha! I can’t stop smiling to think how the term peer pressure has shifted to adults and oldies too — from being a term used for children and adolescents.

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  11. raju070 · · Reply

    Let every day become the first day of the rest of our lives. Such a lovely thought. 🙂 And such a wonderful post. Lots of wisdom here. And it makes so much sense. Reviewing a whole year does not help because we take resolutions to forget about them in just a week. Thinking about what we do continuously helps us better ourselves. 🙂

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    1. Thanks Raj. Glad that you feel the same way about shorter periods of review. Happy New Year!

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  12. Your views are very similar to that of my Dad. He too believes that we don’t have to wait for that perfect day to start something afresh, we don’t have to wait for a new year to make resolutions and we don’t need to wait for a special day for letting go of grudges and making friends again. Thank you for sharing this wonderful post! I am definitely sharing it with Dad. Once again, a very happy new year to you. 🙂

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    1. Thanks for the comment, Rekha! Didn’t I tell you that with age comes wisdom to come to such conclusions? 🙂 Jokes apart, we should stop this special-day-special-sentiments business and learn to express the sentiments every day. Like in Father’s and Mother’s day, for instance. Do we need them to show our parents we love them? Thanks for the wishes. And I would love to know how your Father liked the post 🙂

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