May Your New Year be Childlike!

31 Dec

Why do years seem shorter and, too often, less joyful as we get older?

It’s because we judge them based on how much time we’ve already seen. When you were five, a year was a fifth of your entire life and seemed to last forever. But if you are fifty, a year is just two percent of all you have experienced. If you are not careful, that two percent can zip by without even noticeably adding to the richness of your life.

Joy works much the same way. When you were five, something as small as a smile or a brightly colored book could fill your mind and delight you beyond measure. But if you are fifty, your mind often is so full of complications and the worries of adult life that there is no longer enough room in it for a small kind deed or an unexpected nugget of beauty to fill it with joy.

Yet experiencing short years full of small joys is a good example of a choice we make without realizing it. Your year still has every minute it did when you were a child for experiencing new things, and it is still filled with deeds and wonders that can fill our minds with joy if we give them the room to do it.

So here is my New Year’s wish for you:

May you wake up on New Year’s Day with the eyes, ears, love, and sense of wonder of a child. May your mind be clear of troubles and complications and concerns for things that are far larger than you are, and so have no need to be part of your mind at that particular moment. May your mind instead stay focused on the simple deeds and bits of beauty that surround you at that very moment. May you see for the first time in a long time the sparkles in how the sun prisms and shadows through a morning window, or in a bit of music, or in the smile from someone you love. May your mind stay clear every day of the noise and clutter of our too-large world, so that you can experience every sparkle of love and beauty in each of those days.

Or putting it all together: May this New Year bring you the small intense joy of once again being a child in a big, bright, and endless surprising new world.

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