So I consider today another beginning, a new chance at starting over. But starting over from what, you ask? Failed New Year’s resolutions? Diets that have been left at the side of the road like so much crumpled wax paper? Bike tours that never materialized?
Maybe! Though there’s no pressure to do any of those things, I’m the sort that berates myself for not sticking to a program. Everyone says “relax! What’s the rush?” It could also be a self-imposed thing: I told myself that I would take a month’s rest after leaving my last job, and today that month is officially over. See? I unnecessarily set up a deadline, and now it’s here.
That’s why May 1 is another beginning. It’s May Day, a Communist holiday (which will probably feature the Palinites and teabaggers hanging the President in effigy); it’s also the beginning of the Month of Mary, during which the prettiest little girl in the third grade is chosen to crown the statue of Mary in church (assuming that those churches still contain statues of Mary); and it’s officially one month before the start of hurricane season here in Florida, which means we will put off buying emergency supplies until the season’s first storm is just three miles away.
Actually, I’m not as hard on myself as you would gather, because the year is filled with new beginnings. I can always start over again. There’s the standard January 1; then there’s Ash Wednesday; then the First Sunday in Lent for those of us who eat an entire carton of ricotta on the Thursday after Ash Wednesday; then there’s Easter Sunday, THE day of rebirth– much more potent than New Year’s Day.
Failing all that, May 1 comes along… then the first day of Summer, and then comes– after you’ve stared at your bicycle for three weeks without actually getting onto it– July 4, which can be considered one’s own personal Independence Day.
Summer ends, and if you STILL haven’t gotten with the program, the First Day of Autumn with its cool breezes (though I don’t know from cool breezes in Florida) can be a new beginning. Then maybe the beginning of Advent. You’ve got four weeks of that and, if you haven’t managed to write any new short stories in that time, you’ve got Christmas– a different sort of rebirth, but a new beginning just the same.
Seven days later, you can start all over again at January 1 if you managed, somehow, to go through six fruitcakes and four boxes of ribbon candy in the previous week.
And if you really think about it, what are time and calendars but man-made mechanisms placed over the ebb and flow of the Universe? After all, who am I to even dare to create order out of that beautiful chaos? I mean, I wasn’t around when They built it in the first place, so I really shouldn’t have an opinion, right?
Come to think of it, each year has 365 (and sometimes 366) new beginnings. So I can calm down and start all over every twenty-four hours.
And eat ricotta all I want.