Keep Filling the Page

The countdown starts, the champagne cork pops, the ball drops.

3…2…1…

“Happy New Year!”

Hugs and kisses are shared under a snowstorm of confetti…

At least that’s what I see on tv as I’m cozied up with my husband and new pup on the couch while our sweet four year old rings in the new year snuggled up in her bed with her Elmo. As we sit and watch, we also talk about what we want out of 2019- family goals, work goals, personal goals. We dream about what we want to achieve by this time next year.

For many, myself included, the beginning of a new year feels like a fresh start after the splurge of the holidays. In a way, it can feel like hitting a reset button.

It’s the same feeling I used to get when my mom took us shopping for back-to-school supplies- the clean pages of planners, notebooks, and sketchbooks, the unsharpened pencils, and crayons that actually had pointed tips.

My favorite was (and still is) opening up a new sketchbook. Everything was so new and bright. Nothing but potential filled the pages. There were so many untold stories and artwork still to be imagined that would eventually cover the sheets of paper.

Even though the sketchbook was empty- it was filled with so much possibility, so much hope, so much life yet to be colored in.

I loved that feeling.

For some reason though, I haven’t been as enthusiastic about the start of 2019. I think it’s because each year that passes seems to move faster than the one prior. Time keeps speeding up and I catch myself grasping for every last minute of the day as it slips out of my hands. When you have a sweet preschool age kid who seems to grow inches overnight and a dad who is going through cancer treatments- you definitely want your days (and years) to slow down. I was feeling anxious about what the year would bring and was kind of a mess on New Year’s Day…

That night as I was trying to fall asleep, I realized that starting a new year is like buying a new sketchbook. The fresh, crisp pages just waiting to be covered in doodles and drawings… waiting to have purpose.

I realized that when starting a new sketchbook (and also, for me at least, starting the new year of 2019), the possibility, the hope, the life yet to be colored in is always there… but sometimes you have to make yourself fill the pages.

Its easy to let them remain blank because of fear or because you don’t know what to do. It can be way too easy to leave that sketchbook on the bookshelf and never do anything with it because you’re so afraid of the messes you might make or the mistakes you may need to scratch out.

But at what cost? You will have given up on the potential of the blank sheet of paper. When you don’t know what to do, just pick up a pencil (or yourself) and draw something (do something). When you’re feeling afraid, just grab a paintbrush (or yourself) and paint something (do something). When you’re worried about the messes or mistakes you might make, just take your time, be thoughtful, and pick up a pen (or yourself) and sketch something (do something).

Continue sketching and covering each sheet of paper (keep making memories, continue to love and to be grateful for each day).

The point of that sketchbook, and life for that matter, is to simply fill the page.