This is a belated New Year’s blog post, because I was on a plane New Year’s Eve, flying to see our Swedish relatives. I had a great time, and it was a wonderful way to start the new year. However, I’m definitely one of those people who likes to use the beginning of a new year as an opportunity for a fresh start, or at the very least, a reset. It’s an opportunity to reflect on the past year, let go of negative attitudes and patterns, and seek to be a better person, basically, or at the very least a person whose thoughts and behaviors seek to be categorized by the principles of love, optimism, kindness, and justice, in which I deeply believe.
So, with that in mind, I have been thinking about the inverse parallel processes of creation and destruction. It’s much easier to tear down, than build up, isn’t it? I know this to be true, because this week, I am in the process of taking down my Christmas decorations. Have you gotten there yet? If so, you know exactly what I mean. All of the lights, the nativity sets, the Christmas village, the santas, the snowmen, the dishes, the stockings–whatever you used to ornament your house for the holiday, it’s all coming down. And, if you are anything like me, this is happening in an almost shockingly rapid time frame, compared to what it took to get everything up and ready. All that time I used to painstakingly arrange everything just right on the shelves, to hang the ornaments just so on the tree, to string the lights in their perfect places, and to create a home that was festive, warm and celebratory has been replaced by an unceremonious pulling down, wrapping up, (in some cases throwing away), and shuttling away in boxes. It literally is taking half the time, if even that.
I think this is true in other areas of life as well. It is much, much harder to create than it is to tear down. Creation takes not only a great deal of time and effort, but it also takes vision, creativity, passion and commitment. Creation takes love and care, too. Destruction takes none of those things. Not only is destruction rapid, it also can be impulsive, careless, and thoughtless—to say nothing of cruel and wanton. Given how easy it is to destroy, then, it is risky to create, knowing how quickly and easily something we treasure, something that has meaning for us can be ruined, and torn down. Why bother, one might ask? There are always going to be destructive people and forces in the world; why even try to create in the face of their presence and threatening power?
Well, that may be true, but regardless, I am choosing to make 2019 a year of creativity: a year in which I live out of optimism and hope, in spite of the naysayers; a year in which I choose with intention and persistence to contribute acts of beauty and love, in spite of the haters; a year in which I open myself up to newness, surprise and wonder, in spite of the critics and the cynics. And, I suggest you do the same. Make 2019 a year in which you create, and prepare to be amazed at all that follows.