As the new year approaches, I’m reminded of the pithy little phrase, Out with the old; in with the new. I do relish the Christmas season, and I will truly miss our family’s daily Advent giving now that Advent is over for this year. But I hunger for fresh starts–a new toothbrush, an unmarked page in a journal, and especially the beginning of a new year.
Soon I will sit down in a quiet spot in our home and gather around me the tools I will use for reflecting on 2015–Bible, journals (multiple journals), maybe some dark chocolate and some tea. And as I look back with contemplation, I’ll also begin to look forward with intention. Looking back, I hope to be able to declare “out with the old” when I realize enough is enough.
With these pencils, for example. My family and I pick up discarded pencils when we see them lying around, on the sidewalk or in a parking lot. We use those pencils well. But this fall I noticed that many of our pencils–frequently used in home school lessons–had gotten too short to use comfortably. To write with them, we had to cramp our hands tightly around the wood, and the erasers had long been used up. After sharpening and re-sharpening them, I finally decided–enough is enough. So for these: It’s out with the old, in with the new.
In some parts of life, we may FEEL we’ve had enough; we may be fed up. But abandoning what we know and believe we must do is not an option. In those moments, we don’t have the option of kicking out “the old.” But we can take a look with a new perspective; we can take a break, take a breath, take a walk–when we’ve had enough.
But with used up, spent pencils? Out with the old–enough is enough. In with the new!