The new year is a time of extremes. The ending of one year and the beginning of another incites a very paradoxical mood. Anticipation and reflection combine, forming a heady cocktail in celebration of what has been and what is to come, leaving a hangover jabbing everywhere and nowhere inside the skull, and settling heavily, though somewhat implacably, in the uneasy deep of the stomach. The dull, aching need to make a change is quickly numbed by a heavy dose of realism. The pill seems to soothe the head and settle the stomach as the dates and days and months go by as they did before, and a near-revolutionary spirit is quelled (and unsatisfactorily quenched) by the monotonous routines of old. The past and present blur into one indistinguishable mass. Continuity is all well and good, but it often comes at the expense of progress.
The year that has gone is not a chapter to be closed, shelved, and only considered out of context, or through the lens of nostalgia. It is an exercise book, in which notes of the past year can be viewed alongside the blank pages to be filled by the one ahead. The notes are there to be reread, scrutinised and reviewed, and the blank pages exist to record the revised and updated edition of your life, so you can repeat what you liked, edit what you didn’t, and add in what you feel you missed. The changes are yours to make, because the story is yours to write.