Even though the tick of the clock from 11:59.59 on December 31 to midnight on January 1st of a new year is a pretty stupid reason to suddenly declare a fresh start (because, really, fresh starts are available whenever we want them), I still buy into the New Year’s idea.

When 2014 burst into the present, I thought, Yeah, a clean slate. I took 2013 to the blocks — except for all those times it dominated me — and now, 2014, you’re next!

But I do a weird thing at the start of each new year: I clean house.

By that I mean, for the first few days in January, I try to do everything perfectly. I try to make everything the best.

Maybe it’s because it makes me feel intentional or literary, or because I subconsciously think every action taken at the beginning of a new year is symbolic for the next 364 days, or just because it’s a convenient excuse to lean into some OCD tendencies. But it’s like I see New Year’s Day and the few days after as representative of the year.

It’s sort of a get-off-to-a-good-start mentality. I cross all the t’s and dot all the i’s. It’s as though I’m in the first mile of a marathon, and I take every precaution not to fall on my face.

I eat extra healthy (first foods of 2014 were tomatoes and eggs); I start off super clean (I brushed my teeth for five minutes last night — check out this enamel!); I put a lot of effort into being especially gentle and merciful and patient; I wash all the dishes and organize my bookshelves; I spend more time than usual in prayer; I adopt extra diligence at work, put in extra effort at home, and invest extra time in relationships. Last year, I even started off the year with a haircut and a clean shave — but this year I decided I preferred not to look 15 again.

But that’s the sort of way it goes.

I’m a little bit of a perfectionist all the time, but at the start of a new year, its perfectionism in overdrive. Symmetry. Clealiness. Healthiness. Doing things right.

None of these are specific resolutions. It’s more a vague life resolution: be better.

I don’t believe in omens, but I do believe in setting the tone.

Call it quirky or weird or crazy, and definitely call it OCD, but I like it. Setting a precedent. Falling into a groove. Laying the groundwork for good habits. Looking 2014 dead in the eye and saying, “Listen up: this is how it’s gonna be.”

This year the tone looks good. (Of course, last year at midnight on January 1 I had locked me and my friends out of my apartment, and it was, shall we say, bitterly, bitingly, Hoth-esque cold — so, by comparison, this year has been nirvana.)

So let’s get on with it. Let’s be deliberate. And, heyo, I’m not trying to break into my own apartment with a credit card and a coat hanger; so, 2014, it looks like we’re off to a friendly start. And if you turn, then do your worst, and we will keep on bringing it.

Posted by Griffin Paul Jackson

One Comment

  1. Je suis moi même discalculique et je le vie très mal, c’est très dure même dans la vie quotidienne j’ai beaucoup de mal a apprendre les cpnjugaisons, et aujourd’hui encore je fais beaucoup de fautes d’ortographe et les tables de mutiplication n’en parlons pas je n’es connais pas une seule mais pas celle de 2 et même pour un simple opération je suis obligée de la posée c’est vraiment très dure au quotidien aujourd’hui encore je suis une réeducation chez l&;qousrortophoniste.


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