by Steve Clem on January 1, 2010

I have always found it interesting how much we, as humans, obsess over our New Year.

I’m guilty of it as well.

“Last year sure did suck, so this next year HAS to get better.”

Does it? Not really.

The world we wake up to this morning, the first of 2010, is the same world we said goodbye to at the stroke of midnight last night.

The economy still sucks. We still have two wars going on in faraway lands. We’ve still got enemies of our country who are hell-bent on destroying us. And your day-to-day problems and my day-to-day problems have not magically disappeared. We didn’t suddenly get a raise overnight. Or a job. Or our self-esteem.

Before you decide that I’m the most cynical person you know, let me say that one thing we do have this morning, metaphorically at least, is a fresh blanket of snow.

The paths we took, both good and bad, over the last year are covered. Still visible, but barely. Visible enough that it is easy for us to take those same paths again this year. Hidden enough that if we choose to go another route, the former ones will fade into the snowy landscape, becoming distant memories.

Now is where we come in. Do we repeat our paths of the past? If we do, we must remember Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity: “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

If we are smart, we’ll remember the results of our last trip down the path. And we’ll take risks, even if they mean failure in the short term, by taking a new path.

So get ready to explore in 2010, if you wish new and different results. Take a different path.

Happy New Year, my friends, and happy new path making.

* * * *

Steve Clem originally published this piece on the blog A Prisoner in the Tundra.

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