Dec 29, 2010

The Threshold of the Year

I was listening to a podcast yesterday that spoke about "liminal spaces" - those places that we think of as being between the worlds.  The edge of a beach where the water meets the earth.  The top of a mountain, where earth meets sky.  And it occurred to me that the time between Yule/Christmas and the secular New Year has always seemed like a liminal space to me.

The days after the gift-giving, the eating, the visiting and celebrating seem to be a threshold of sorts.  I feel as though I've left some things behind and am now stepping toward something new.  As a Pagan, I celebrate the new year at the end of the harvest season (on October 31st-November 1st.)  But there is something about breaking open a fresh calendar that just says 'new beginnings' to me.

I don't make resolutions, but I do spend some time thinking about how I'd like to grow in the next year.  There is often some bittersweetness around the holidays for me.  I love the gathering of the family, but it does force you to look back on how you've grown (or not) when people start asking you about what you've done during the year over turkey and stuffing.

Luckily I have grown in two small-but-important ways.  I don't feel like I have to impress anyone anymore, and I've learned to take some small moments for myself throughout the holiday madness.  Because of this, the last week went surprisingly well for me. 

I hope the holidays went well for all of you too - and that you had some very happy celebrations!

Now I step onto that threshold and think about the things I would like to manifest for this year to come.

Do you make resolutions or to-do lists for the new year? 


mxtodis123 said...

It feels like a between space for me as well...the new year waiting to arrive as the old year waits to go. Wishing you and yours blessings in the coming year.

Wendy said...

You named it perfectly for me the restlessness I'm feeling as we're in that space between..the liminal or as the Buddhists would name it; The Bardos. I don't have a clear image or feeling of what I'd like to manifest and I guess that's what this is the time for..The gestation period. Thank you for a beautiful post.

Ponderosa Pagan said...

I try to come up with a phrase for the whole year to set my year into motion. For 2011 it is Making it Happen in 11!
I use this phrase to guide my year and get me through the times when I think it is hard and I just want to give up on dreams and the like.
I am working on setting some personal spiritual goals but I do not make resolutions anymore. I always let myself down!
Love the post

Anonymous said...

"Luckily I have grown in two small-but-important ways. I don't feel like I have to impress anyone anymore, and I've learned to take some small moments for myself throughout the holiday madness. Because of this, the last week went surprisingly well for me."

I don't think those are "small" at all.

I don't do resolutions...too much pressure. I just pick a word and focus on encorporating those energies into my everyday life.

Robin Larkspur said...

It seems a lot of us feel the same way about this time after the December 25th holiday and January 1st. A bit of a limbo time, a bit of "waiting for the other shoe to drop". I talked about making "suggestions" to myself on my blog, instead of resolutions. I always have such a good feeling as I tack up the new calendar..hopeful, idealistic,maybe, and a little sad for another year gone. Wishing you many blessings this year, and good health and happiness. Robin.

The Frog Queen said...

Nicely said. Definately quit writing my goals on a sheet of paper based on what I think I should do.

In the beginning. I just sit and listen to my heart and admit to myself what I really long to do. Not have to do...once I make that step, we start to plan....most of those plan include removing as much as adding...I find it rather inspiring how when you are honest with yourself the things that you really want to have in your life will find a place. Many times it was there all along, just had to remove what I "thought I wanted" :)

A toast to 2010!


The Wizardess said...

I like these borderline, liminal times, although they can free up some strong emotions. I don't really make resolutions, but I have set some goals for the near future. Blessings on you here at the border of the calendar year.

Kathy said...

I love your definition of this time of year. It really resonates with me. I don't make resolutions anymore as they were just another way to set myself up for failure, but I do look at the new year as an unopened notebook ready to write in.

Plus when my husband goes back to work after being home a lot for two weeks, it's my opportunity to tear into the house and get some long awaited cleaning done.

halloween spirit said...

Nicely said. I definitely consider this week between Christmas and the new year a borderland between old and new. And while I don't make specific resolutions, I do tend to reflect on the upcoming year and consider the possibilities.

Jeanne said...

Yes, the time between Christmas and New Year's is definitely a 'between time'. Full of restless expectation.
Because I am a compulsive list maker, I make list of the things I hope to achieve but no resolutions. I find that if I say "I shall do"... then "I probably don't do"... LOL
Happy New Year!

Mina said...

Your post spoke to my heart, every word a truth for me as well.

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog for a visit. Have a great day!

Bogaman said...

No resolutions here. Look forward to better times though. This time of year is always difficult for me. The physical side is from less sunlight and short days which has an effect on my mood. It took years for me to recognize this fact. It is definatly a transition, from darkness into light slowly but surely. X.

Kekibird said...

I usually set a few goals for different areas of my life. Each year I pick a reading goal and this year it's to complete my Sherlock Holmes Complete Collection Vol 1 book. I also have a pair of jeans I'd like to fit into around the end of the year. And next January I want to enter a Resolution Run 5k and beat my time for this year. Small things set in the long term so I am more likely to succeed!