New week. New month. New year.
Time to . . .
Okay. So here we are . . . over a week into January already. I don’t know about you, but I find the beginning of the new year to be kinda . . . stressful. There’s a “new start” vibe that is hard to ignore. “New-year-new-you.” Resolutions. Plans. “Begin as you mean to go on.” All of it.
It’s a lot.
I mean, what if you’re not ready to hit-the-ground-running when that ball drops or the calendar page flips over? What if you’ve been focused on festivity and family instead of planning and reflection? What if you need more time to decompress and settle in. What if you need to hibernate a little more . . . before you re-boot?
What if . . . January was NOT about starting fresh or beginning again or knowing just where you’re headed, but was – instead – a revered space between what IS and what IF?
This year, I’m craving a more gentle beginning to my new year. I want a more mindful and thoughtful start. Even though I had a lovely and (really quite) relaxed holiday season, I am wanting more time to recalibrate. I don’t need to jump into All The Things all at once. I want to take the time to consider – with gentleness and curiosity – just how I might like my 2023 to unfold.
For myself, I’m declaring January a . . . liminal space. (A liminal space is the space between what IS and what will happen NEXT; it’s a transitional space — physical or psychological.) Liminality . . . is being on the threshold of a new place or life stage. Like the New Year. Like January.
It’s commonly accepted that “auspicious days” (like New Years Day) are the “best days” to launch a new start or to make planned changes . . . so the pressure to “begin again” or “start fresh” on January 1 is understandable. But also . . . not necessary! Any day is a good day to begin again. Or to try something new. Or institute a new plan. Any day can be an “auspicious day” . . . if you make it so!
I’m going gentle into January this year. I’m going to revel in this . . . liminal space . . . while I figure out how I want to go on — and what I want to do/work on/explore in the new year.
There is plenty of space right here . . . in January!
“I do think that probably one of the pitfalls of New-Year’s-resolution culture is that it encourages us all to buy into the idea that you need to make some big change in order to be a minimally acceptable, worthwhile person. And that doesn’t leave any room for the thought that maybe you’re more okay than you thought. Maybe you don’t need to change in some particular way. Maybe reconciling yourself to certain ways that you are is a more powerful thing.”
— Oliver Burkeman, author of Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals
So. If you’re sitting around here on January 9 . . . already feeling “behind” . . . like you missed the boat on setting a course for yourself in the new year . . . I’m here to invite you into the liminal space with me!
January is here.
Take your time, my friends!
Be gentle with yourselves.
It’s never too late to . . .
Start Your Engines!
Liminality for the win! No resolutions or jump starts here. Maybe some reorganization of priorities and junk drawers for a start! 🙂
Today, January 9, is the beginning of what is called Ordinary Time in the Christian calendar and I was struck by that idea when I read it this morning. I resonate with this feeling of stepping into some days that are not about changes and resolutions. Thanks for putting this into words today Kym.
I am absolutely not on the Resolution Bandwagon! But I had never considered a Liminal January… so smart!
I have been spending my days, thus far, making friends with my word. So yes to that lingering in the land of What Is and the land of What If!
I’ve always felt that January is a bit of a let-down after all the activity of the holiday season — doubly so this year! I long ago stopped making resolutions (because we all know how well those typically go!), so January is always more of a reset for me. It’s when things go back to a more typical schedule and get quiet.
It sounds like “Begin” might be your new word of the year. If not, I might be taking it. Of course, the pitfall of that is the inherent word “Finish”. Hmmm.
I’m joining you in Liminal January! The kids used to have a picture book about seasons and it talked about winter being the time for rest and restoration. We’re in the midst of winter so no resolutions for me (ever) and plenty of time for restoration.
I completely agree! I’m still enjoying the holiday season in early January, and then slowly moving into the new year’s mind space for the bulk of the month.
At one time, March 25 was the beginning of the new year. So I say start your “new” self when you’re ready!
I still can’t get over the fact that we are already at the NINTH of January.
Yes to all of this. It feels very similar to the blog post I wrote last week about welcoming January with mindfulness and purpose and making it feel light. I also filmed a TikTok last week about how you don’t have to change a damn thing about yourself on January 1st – you can just be you! 🙂
Perfect! Liminal for the win. I’m another who is anti-resolutions. I love the idea of a slow start to the new year (after all, January (for me) is a season of hibernating!!).
Wait it’s the 9th? What happened to the first week of January!
Right. there. with you.
Yes to a gentle easing into the New Year. I like the idea of winter as a time of rest. I’ve always enjoyed what I call “the peace of January.” This year I almost forgot that idea but now your post reminds me to settle into this winter time of rest.
I do love the idea of being gentle and mostly-seeing how wonderful we already are! Thank you for the reminder and the invitation to go slowly.