The start of this year has been a little different for me than most. Usually the ball drops, a new calendar goes up, I feel sick from all the holiday goodies snarfed... but then the days go on just like they did the year before. Its not a big deal. New Years is fun and all if you want it to be but for me it doesn't spark any of the, "OK, this year things will be different!" motivation that seems to consume the nation. Don't get me wrong, resolutions are great and admirable, especially when they are stuck to, but for me, I need more than a New Year to have a fresh start and be better. I need new weeks, new days... new minutes even. Maybe that's why New Year's isn't a huge deal for me because I am constantly needing to review and recommit to my goals over and over and over, not just at the beginning of the year. Thus, I have oodles of mini "New Years" scattered throughout the 365 days so it isn't anything significantly unusual come the night of December 31st. That's how New Years have kind of always been for me: just an excuse to celebrate and not particularly a soul searching realignment of life. This year, however, was a little bit more like the conventional New Years in that I did feel differently, and I did have a different, more conscious, motivation than I've had on previous New Years to have a more fulfilling 12 months. I don't think that it was necessarily because its a new year so that's why I was feeling that way, it was more coincidence than anything that this realization and sense of eagerness to up the gears in my life happened to fall on the beginning days of a new year. However, it is easier to see the upcoming year at the top of it than at the end or middle of the one before it.
The past few weeks I have been reading different talks and quotes and scriptures as well as having conversations and experiences that were all generally unrelated to each other. Little did I know, until later reflection, that they had all been accumulating into a divinely linked together idea that provided me a special insight into myself, and life in general, that hit me all of a sudden a few days ago. I saw things that I have wanted to happen in my life. I actually saw them happening and realized that there wasn't anything but me keeping me back from doing them. I have known I wanted to do things like get out of debt, start school again (and be able to pay for it up front), and get a dental hygiene degree, etc. but they always seemed more like far of aspirations that were still in the stars and not actually plannable yet. Then I saw 2009 and I knew that those balls could start rolling. I eagerly pulled out my planner and my budget and I planned! I roughly paved the way for those things that I now realize I REALLY wanted to do. I can be out of debt entirely by June, May even, and for those of you who know, that was a very far off idea when I ended August of 2007. I was in over my head at $11,000+ in debt with no job, no job prospects, and finance charges steadily accruing. I will be able to pay for at least one course of online school with BYU in May as well. And another by the end of the summer. I may not be able to apply for the dental hygiene program at UVU until 2011 because I have some pre-requisites I have to knock out of the way before then, but I MIGHT be able to squeeze everything into this year and apply for the 2010 program if I'm lucky. But then I have to decide if I can really afford to quit working full-time to do school, and the program is really competitive anyway so I may not make the 14 students that are admitted each year after all... Ok, sorry, you all don't need to be inside my head for the actual planning process and all it entails... But long story short, I am actually doing this. Not just talking about it anymore. Its something that I am extremely excited about and the excitement just increases the more I think about it and read about it. So many things that I feel like I have only been able to peek at over the fence are now on my front porch!
Life is wonderful. I realize, too, that everyday I can resubmit myself to be changed and renewed. Things like New Years are great opportunities to remind us of that, but its more important for me to remember that new "beginnings" are a barrel a penny, available each and every time I need some shaping. All it takes is a choice made.