Fast Away the Old Year Passes

December 31, 2006

For last year’s words belong to last year’s language and next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.
                                   — T.S. Eliot, 1888-1965
                                       American-born naturalized British poet and playwright

Holidailies 2006This morning in church we did the “Regrets and Hopes” exercise. Lynn was eight when we joined this congregation and participated in this the first time.

“What are we doing?” she whispered.

“We’re writing down all the things we regret about the last year. All the things we wish we’d done differently, or all the things we failed to do.”

“I don’t have any regrets,” she said.

“Well then, you don’t have to write anything down.” She watched as we passed our folded slips down the pew to an usher, who dropped them into the burning bowl we use at the beginning of Lent. A touch of a match and our regrets were reduced to ashes.

“Now what?” she asked as she saw me begin to write on another slip. “These are our hopes,” I said. “The things we want to have happen in the new year.”

“Oh I don’t have any hopes either,” she said. “I just take what comes and do what I have to do.”

This morning I wrote the same thing on both slips: “The Six Goals of a Quality Life.” I’m not interested in enumerating exactly how I’ve fallen short of achieving those goals. Nor am I interested in making specific pronouncements about how I want to achieve them in the new year. I just want to get on with it, take what comes, and do what I have to do.


I very likely will not get a January 1 piece up before the Holidailies portal closes. Once again, I thank Jette and Chip for making this possible, the panel of readers for choosing two of my offerings as “best of,” and all my new readers and old. I’m keeping the Holidailies page as my home page, at least for a while, to remind myself to keep on reading the new journals I’ve discovered this year as well as the ones I’ve always known. May every blessing be yours in the new year.

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