I wonder why we cram in so much ‘celebration’ at this time of the year, followed by reflecting on the past year and planning out the next one? With the 12th Night behind us, I’ve been mulling over these thoughts as I take down the Christmas tree and put the decorations back in the loft for another year.It seems to me that this whirlwind of well intentioned activity, of looking back, setting new year’s resolutions and projections for the year ahead, is just something that is taken for granted. It’s just seen as the right thing to do – but is it?
Such questions have been prompted in part by David Pearl’s insightful blog – Happy New What? – which makes the case that there in fact multiple new years, depending on one’s perspective (Chinese, Jewish, Islamic, Druid – even Fiscal and School Years!). It made me stop to think about why should we all spend this particular time of year doing the same thing – could we consider perhaps spreading our reflecting across the entire year? In reading David’s blog and his Huffington Post article, I do agree that we might in fact consider “setting your own tempo for the year”. Would this make more sense?
Maybe we should consider moving away from the crowd and consider an alternative approach. I have formed this view having followed a series of Advent blog posts curated by Kate Griffiths Lamb on the theme of Paths & Perceptions. Over the last few weeks, a wide variety of talented people have contributed their experiences and perceptions in a very personal and affective way. The whole thing has been prompted not so much by the arrival of the new year but by the tradition of Advent. One of the key themes for me coming out of these posts in the benefit of setting time across the year to reflect and to stand back from the madness of day to day life.
I was honoured to be invited to submit a contribution – Walking with the Spirits. This links my professional life, moving clients and organisations to new buildings, and with learning that it is not just about bricks and mortar: the human experience is central. Place is so much more than what you can see or touch: it’s a feeling – and if we want our spaces to really work, we can’t ignore that.
I’ve stopped reading through the mass of articles and blogs on reflections and projections, and I haven’t made any myself. As we all continue on our individual pathways of life for 2015 we will continue coping with the routine and the mundane of surviving in the 21st-century world. There will be both good and bad things. However, I wonder what would happen if we could resolve to this spend a little time reflecting on a regular basis on where we are, what we’re doing and the impact of this.