I’ve never understood how New Year’s Day became the high holy day for self-improvers. You go to bed too late and wake up with a brand new calendar. Your insurance deductibles reset. You have to stop and think before dating the documents you sign. Everything else stays pretty much the same.
Where I live it is usually a bit dreary on December 31 and dreary again on January 1. The weather doesn’t change. The angle of the sun doesn’t change.
Our ancestors used to mark time by the passage of the sun, the angle of the light and the resulting changes in the world around them. Winter is the dream time when the world is dormant and sleeping. When dream time ends, you know it because you can see the world waking up. Daylight has heft and lasts longer. Green things start to grow. The world is frisky and vibrant. Everyone and everything is awake and full of potential.
For me, this transformation becomes most apparent with the start of Daylight Savings Time. Say what you will about the antiquated practice, I love the one hour jump. Until my body adjusts, I feel like I am living an hour in the future. This excites and inspires me.
I don’t make resolutions on New Year’s Day. Those plans aren’t real. They don’t enshrine themselves into ongoing habit. However, with the start of daylight savings time, I naturally adopt a new mentally. My focus and attention sharpen. I run more. I eat healthier. I pay attention to the calories I put in my body, the calories I expend, and the amount of water I drink. My family spends more time together outdoors. We do things, fix things, organize things.
This happens every year without fail and without advance planning. This is, for me, the end of dream time and beginning of waking up.
How does the time change affect your life routines? Do better choices become easier or does it make any difference at all? Do you ever feel like you are living just a little bit in the future? I’d love to know if I am party of one or if this happens for you.