January Transformed: Finding Meaning in the New Year

Whether your holiday was a joyous occasion full of lively festive traditions, a quiet, meditative interlude at home, or a poignant time filled with memories of celebrations past, the season has come and gone. Family and friends returned home, the cards slowed to a trickle, and the cookies found their way from the counter on to the bathroom scale. The hope and anticipation of the holidays has transformed into the daily routine of January.

For some, January comes entirely too soon. If only life could be a string of parties, if only you could eat like this all year around, if only the excitement could last a little longer! Or, maybe the thought of returning to your normal life is overwhelming, and you wish January found you somewhere else. Some of us find relief at the end of the holiday season. Whether you are one whose calendar was overstuffed with celebrations, or one that wished more people had called, the calm and familiarity of January can offer a reprieve. The habit of daily life begins again, and you find comfort in the routine.

Maybe this January, in the midst of both missing and feeling thankful that the holidays are over, we can bring some of the heart of the season into our daily lives. Many spiritual traditions remind us how common elements of daily life—candles, meals, births—can be transformed into the sacred. As we return to our daily lives of picking up our children, getting ready for work and bringing in wood, maybe we can open to possibility of the sacred revealing itself in each small task. Perhaps this can be our New Year’s resolution: seeing the spiritual manifest in the ordinary work of life.