Happy New Year! Is the calendar your friend?

And so we start again, that’s what the calendar says.

Everything in the media is about hopes for the New Year, the plans we have.

‘Best wishes for the new year,’ people kindly say.

We’re allowed to look back over our shoulders at things done – ‘That was the year that was’ – but only briefly.

The stronger social media tide (and what other tide is there?) carries us forward into the new year, 2019. And there’s something exciting about the new, a wonderfully free space where anything can happen.

A fresh start even? Some of us dream of that as we clear away the colourful debris of Christmas.

But the new can also scare.

‘How will I survive?’ will be the thought in other minds. The new can appear a frightening void until we have found our place in it.

We may not feel as excited or as hopeful as those around us. Some may feel the years rushing by, nothing achieved, and turn on themselves in despair.

Calendars can be cruel in this way.

So return to your beating heart and the breath in your lungs. They anchor us. The truth is, we are all beginners at this time of year, absolute beginners.

No one knows anything.

It’s the time when people speak most about the future; yet know nothing about it. Prediction merchants are only guessing.

So we pause, speak kindly to our beginner’s soul, open the curtains on another year, and walk half-knowing but wholehearted into its arms.

We’ll find sadness, failure and delight; we’ll find strength, weakness and refuge.

And we’ll discover fresh starts every day.