December 23, 2018:

For Lucy van Pelt, it is the season of “Santa Claus and ho-ho-ho, and mistletoe, and presents to pretty girls.” For each of us, the holiday season is something different. I don’t mean solely which holidays you celebrate, if any. Rather, for each of us, the holiday season manifests differently: A joyous time, a stressful mess, a time for family, a time for loneliness. Regardless, I think that it would be nigh impossible to ignore the season and let it pass by unnoticed; there’s too many reminders all around. From festive lights to Christmas music, from snow if you live up north to busy airports no matter where you live, the season is insistent and anything but subtle.

Christmas Tree
A Christmas tree in Lakewood Ranch, Florida in December of 2018.

Without fail, however, one week after Christmas, a new year begins. And just like December 25th, December 31st is wrought with different things for different people. My encouragement to you is to take the holiday season, but especially New Year’s Eve, and reflect. I understand how unpleasant of a task that is for many, as I too have had my fair share of regretful years on which I’d rather not look back. Do it anyway.

Think about where you were twelve months ago. Where were you living? In what place did you live? What goals did you have then, and were any changed, fulfilled? Think about what people have left your life and who has entered it. Where has your education or career taken you? Overall, was 2018 a good year? Mediocre? Terrible? Did you barely make it through or do you wish it will never end?

Is your outlook on 2019 hopeful and full of excitement, or something else? If it’s the latter, why and what can you do to make 2019 better than ’18? What baby steps can you take towards something better? If you’re of the former outlook, though—hopeful and excited for the new year—then great! Why is that, and who can you thank for the bright future ahead? Better yet, who can you share your joy with, and how can you help make their 2019 just as great as yours will be?

Grab yourself some cookies and eggnog, and conclude this holiday season with all the quirky things and people that you love. Do it your own unique way, but consider taking my advice and pausing a minute or two to reflect on this past year. So, here’s to the winter solstice and warm mead, and from all of us at The Symmetry Podcast, have an amazing holiday season and a fantastic new year.

Yours truly,

Ben Lebout