A large part of my childhood was spent at the local gymnastics club. I came by my moniker of “monkey” honestly; I climbed and sat on everything I possibly could, from the ropes to the beams to the uneven bars and everything in between. Gymnastics is more than just monkeying around and making it up as you go, though. One of the first essential skills I remember learning was how to regrip while swinging on one of the uneven bars.
You can get away with swinging on the bars without regripping for a little while, but you run the risk of falling off the bar or losing momentum. Regripping prevents that, which is crucial if you happen to end up unexpectedly hanging from the bar in the middle of your bar routine. How do you regain the speed required to get back on the top of the bar? You swing. How do you ensure you retain the momentum you need to get there and that you won’t fall off in the process? You regrip.
Swing forward, swing backwards, regrip. Swing forwards, swing backwards, regrip.
If there’s anything that a new calendar year is good for, it’s for the opportunity to take a chance to breathe and regrip.
I don’t know what joys and struggles this past year brought you, what mountaintop highs and valley lows you experienced. It might have been a really good year, maybe even the best so far; it might’ve been the exact opposite. Maybe thinking about it causes you to get lost in thought, a little sad that it all went by so fast. Maybe thinking about it makes it harder to breathe – and not in a good way.
You survived this past year. You might have sprinted across the finish line or you might have limped at the end of the pack, but you made it. You made it. A new year is upon us now, one full of opportunities and the fears that come with them. Did you picture yourself being where you are now at the beginning of last year? What do you think that this coming year will bring?
It will bring days where you want to yell at the sky and moments where you won’t want to get out from under the covers. It will bring all of the joys and the heartbreaks of life, and they’ll look different than they ever have before because you will grow one year older this year, one year wiser. Perspective changes as the years go by and the things you encounter this year might not be any different, but the colors and the feelings will run deeper.
Take a break, just for a moment. Take a breather. A new year is exciting but it can also fill up quickly and that’s without considering any resolutions you might’ve made, so take a moment for yourself. Look outside. Let yourself be moved by the picture that you see. Once you do that, go and experience life with no expectations and with no plans, a little bit of peace for yourself. The world is yours. Dare to enjoy the design.
This year is untapped potential. You’d be rich if potential was a priceless jewel, so mine it like it is and reap the benefits. As you look forward to this year, don’t be afraid to try something new or something that you’ve never done before and you’ll never do again. At the same time, don’t fear the normal and the mundane. Don’t fear doing the same thing day after day when the end seems so far off. Don’t fear your day job, either; don’t fear the hours upon hours of the same thing every day when you’d rather be outside enjoying the stage that the world presents. The stage will still be there when you get off work.
It is a new year.