There is a lot of hype around New Years Eve and the ushering in of a new year. (Even more so this year.) I get that for some it is a time to party. Others see it as a time for reflection and sending well wishes to friends and family. Many people make new year resolutions.
The word resolution means a firm decision to do or not to do something, or the quality of determination or resolve. But this is not a post about resolutions. It is a post about possibilities. A possibility is a thing that may happen, a state of being likely and/or a thing that may be done out of several possible alternatives.
Where resolutions are determined, a possibility is a maybe. Resolutions are guidelines to getting things done; possibilities are open ended options. Resolution is an exclamation point. Possibilities are question marks.
There is nothing wrong with resolutions. And to those who accomplish or keep them, I say, “Way to go!” Making and keeping goals is part of the creative process.
But sometimes one doesn’t need resolution. Nothing so firm. A possibility, however, is just right. Options. Ideas. Could be and may be. Optimistic hoping and wishing.
The idea for this post came about from a conversation with a friend about receiving new art supplies for Christmas. We are both in the process of organizing the spaces in which we create art and our supplies. While I was going through a box, I found some paper that I hadn’t looked at in ages. I went through the box touching each sheet of paper, enjoying the possibilities.
When I purchase paper I don’t always use it right away. But I don’t want to miss the opportunity to purchase this sheet of paper. I may not know right now what I am going to use it for, but I will use at some point in my artwork. I am very aware of the possibility each sheet of paper holds. A new tube of paint. The purchase of a printing press. The blank page or the blank canvas. A yard of fabric or a skein of yarn. A new herb or spice. These all have possibilities!
Good and or bad outcomes may happen. The paint may become part of a stunning landscape. The story written on that blank page may fizzle out. The printing press produces many beautiful prints and some major flops. The dish made with the new spice is not to your tasting. The socks you knit from the skein of yarn fit perfectly. Yes any and all of this could happen. But right now, in this moment, there is nothing but possibility.
And this brings me back to the beginning and perception of the new year. One could think of this as a very negative time or could look at it as a opportunity for possibilities. It would be very easy to get caught up in the negativity of the current state of our world: isolation and masks; lockdowns and travel restrictions; censorship and unrest and much more. This is enough to cause depression in the most positive people. If we allow it, these critical and negative thoughts will take control. That is why enjoying the possibilities is so important. Yes, the possibilities or outcomes could be a disaster, but they have just as much chance as being something wonderful or amazing.
I would like to leave you with this quote which has been accredited to Eleanor Roosevelt. “Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. And today? Today is a gift. That’s why we call it the present.”
Take the gift of today. Be in this moment. Enjoy the possibilities.