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A new year is like a brand new handbag

People say, “I hope you like it,” or “I hope it brings you everything you want.” We smile and say, “Thanks.” We hope so, too.

30 December 2015   | 

We unwrap a new bag like we ring in a new year amid whiffs of pine and new things to come. We see them there looking a little shy and right away we recognize all the promise they hold.

We want change, to turn the page, even just a little bit. Even so, we don’t throw away the old ones. We put our bags away in a closet along with the past months, carefully brushing away the crumbs and the crumby memories.

Then we secretly allow ourselves to reminisce about the good times. We remember all the places we took them, the people we met while they were on our arm, the moments we will always associate with their shape or the number 2015.

We handle new bags and the new year gently, master their curves, repeat their name in our heads to get used to how it sounds. The word still feels unfamiliar but soon we’ll be saying and writing it until it becomes second nature.

 

It’s like looking at a blank page that is white, black, blackcurrant or blue, a page where you want nothing to be crossed out, scratched or messed up. We’re afraid of ruining them – the new bag and the new year. We want them to start off well, like when we were little and took extra good care of our notebooks when school started. The first mistake made us sad and then we kind of gave up when the second one happened.

But this time will be different, this time we make a resolution not to wreck a single thing.

We’ll keep the bag and our chins up high to protect them and see the world in a different light. We’ll be careful with the leather and our daily routine. We won’t lose our keys or our nerve. We’ll examine their every last detail and feature to unearth the treasures they hold. We’ll fill them up, but not cram too much in, so they don’t get bent out of shape and run us ragged. We’ll enjoy this bag and this year without jumping ahead into the next ones.

It’s official: We’ll recognize that pleasure and happiness are usually right under our noses, at arm’s length.

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