I like to think that January is magical—that magically all my tales of woe will be left behind and I will begin the New Year afresh and anew. American author, Robert Clark disagrees with this outlook saying: “I would say happy New Year but it’s not happy; it’s exactly the same as last year except colder.” I think the truth is somewhere in between.
The website EarthSky says that“Our modern celebration of New Year’s Day stems from an ancient Roman custom, the feast of the Roman god Janus – god of doorways and beginnings. The name for the month of January also comes from Janus, who was depicted as having two faces. One face of Janus looked back into the past, and the other peered forward to the future.” And to me that is exactly what January is—not two-faced in the objectionable sense, but a month in which we can reflect on our past, plan for the future, while all the while try to make the present as pleasant as possible. Or that is what I wish.
Clark has a point, just because we go from December 31st to January 1st—things do not change, unless of course we want them to—and that is what January is all about. Grasping for something better, something new, something more gratifying. It provides a break, a corner to turn, a new course to take, a decision to perhaps take the other path in the fork in the road. This year I want to take the road less traveled as inspired by Robert Frost in the last three lines of his poem, “The Road Not Taken”:
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”