For most Westerners, January 1 marks the beginning of a new year when people take stock of their lives and resolve to change for the better. If I were Chinese, I would be celebrating New Year on the second new moon after the winter solstice, or during the inundation of the Nile River if I were living in ancient Egypt.

I guess I’m not any of these people because I celebrate my new year in October. Columbus Day weekend, specifically. It is the anniversary of my freedom, of a time when I ventured out completely alone like The Fool, stepping over the precipice into Life and starting over. I had hopes of doing great things.

It is now three years later and time to once again reevaluate my life and my accomplishments.  So where are they? I failed to lose 10 pounds, I failed to finish any novel/screenplay, failed to get a new a job, failed to save money for a Christmas or retirement fund (well, actually I did then had to dip into it for an emergency), and failed to find true love.

So much for resolutions.

Of course that’s not to say I didn’t accomplish anything this year–just not the things I had planned on.  In fact, I did some pretty amazing things that just came out of nowhere. I started taking belly dance lessons and eight weeks later I joined a dance troupe for public performance. I raised over $3700 and walked 60 miles in a heat wave to help end breast cancer. I earned my preliminary teaching license and recertified as a Group Fitness Instructor. And I got accepted into an initial teaching license for secondary education program at the local university.

But how does one balance these accomplishments with the failure of the ones that mean the most to me? Did somewhere along the subconscious road I figure that losing ten pounds or finishing a novel was too hard and so spent my time and energy on doing things I knew I could achieve?

While I try to decipher that mystery, I will comfort myself with the knowledge that the changing of the seasons, the phases of the moon, and the flow of the Nile River is inevitable.  As is the opportunity for doing great things in another New Year.