I’ve always been an advocate of new beginnings. As many as you need. Pick up and start over. Sometimes more than once a day.

In some ways, this is folly. If you start over too often, you forget how to deal with the middle of things or–heaven forbid–the ends.

In some ways, we must start fresh daily or we will slide uncontrollably toward endings we haven’t necessarily chosen.

We are not new people this morning, and today is not much different from yesterday. The calendar has changed but the weather hasn’t, and for most of us, nor have our lives. If we celebrated last night we might be tired this morning, our heads sore, our stomachs tumbling. We might not feel fresh again till tomorrow, and by then the year feels well underway. We might feel that we’ve missed it, that fresh start–that splash of cold water we expect to create us anew.

We are not new people this morning, but we can choose any moment to start rebuilding. Each choice is a new beginning, a new step, a new challenge. Each moment, each blink, we make new resolutions or reinforce our old ones.

Many years ago, I resolved to get my book published–a goal I have not yet realized because, short of self-publishing, it’s not really up to me. I have worked longer and harder on that resolution than I expected to and it has not yet been realized, but whether my book ever sees the printers or not, I received the most valuable note of my life from one of the editors who rejected it.

She said the story was too passive. Things seemed just to happen to my protagonist when she ought to be driving the story.

I’ve taken that note to heart in my writing and in my life.

It’s not easy. I fail a lot. I probably fail every day. I’ve realized, over time, that I will never stop failing–I can change the way I think about failure, rename the concept, adopt a more positive language–but the day will not come when I wake up with superpowers.

But it’s a new day, a new year, and a new decade all at once. There’s no magic this morning except that we’re all here together at a time when many of us feel ripe for change. Let’s use that feeling not to chastise ourselves and our failures, but to get excited about progress.

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