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Michael Smith ~ The Scent of a New Year

New smells good.

If you watch me open my Christmas presents you might be shocked at what I do with them: I smell them. My family thinks it’s weird, but I just love the smell of new things. Don’t you love that new car smell? I don’t normally get a new car, so I have to purchase a car air freshener that is titled “New Car Smell.”

I think we all have a fondness for that which is new.

New can be scary though. We don’t know what to do with some of this new technology and how it changes our social interaction and our world. New is unknown, and often we are afraid of the “what if” questions in our lives. We like the known and the familiar, so new often brings an uncomfortable unfamiliarity with it.

Regardless of which side of the “new” equation you find yourself on, new is happening every day. In this particular season of the year we hear a lot about wrapping up 2014 and getting ready for the new 2015. Our holiday greetings now include “Happy New Year!” With the new year comes the tradition of making New Year’s resolutions. (If I resolve not to make New Year’s resolutions, did I just make one?)

We can become easily frustrated with this tradition, especially if our hopes and desires at the beginning of the New Year fall flat due to our lack of discipline. It’s not even February and you begin to regret your desires to be a better person, lose a few pounds, read more, or…fill in the blank.

Don’t give up on being a “new you” though. So embrace these steps to new living:

• Begin where you are and be comfortable with that.

• Think daily. Want to write more? Write every day. Want to live healthier? Don’t worry about tomorrow but focus on what you are doing today.

• If you fail, stop with the guilt. Just start over.

• Whatever you want to do, don’t do it alone. Find a friend to join you in the journey.

• Realize that a lot of what you will begin to do in 2015 will be planting seeds for the future. When is the best time to plant an apple orchard? Answer: 20 years ago. When is the next best time? Answer: Today.

Don’t be afraid of the New Year. We all need a fresh newness from time to time. This January just might be that time for you. Einstein said, “the significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking that we were at when we created them.” New is needed.

So take a deep breath of the new. It smells good.