The Loveliness of Liminal

This morning, as on many mornings, I scrolled through social media posts while sipping hot coffee I’d anticipated from the moment its fresh-brewed aroma first woke me. I smiled at photos of friends’ recently past Christmases, but noticed a curious sense of agitation as I read the sprinkling of New Year’s hopes and dreams and the requisite “resolution path” to get there.

“What will my resolutions be this year?” I asked myself. “And which–if any–will be successful?” There. Right there was the seed of the agitation I’d felt upon reading others’ roadmaps to a happy and successful New Year.

Then, I took a deep breath. In that space between breathing in and breathing out, I thought:

There is no rush.

I realized then what I love about this week between Christmas and New Years–this liminal space of peace and relative quiet. A time that lies between the excited energy of Christmas and all its rushing, wrapping, cooking, cleaning, visiting, putting up and putting away and the clean slate of the New Year, upon which we write our hopes, dreams, goals and resolutions.

Today is December 29, Day 4 in the peaceful transition between years. I’ve got two more days before I “should” come up with any resolutions. (Yes, even at the age of 64, I’m still a “Should” Girl.) Many people say they don’t believe in resolutions, and some say they set “goals” instead of resolutions.

Me? I kind of love resolutions. Maybe it’s the tradition of setting them. Maybe its that successful or not, resolutions are the seeds we plant to grow our hopes and dreams. Sometimes they grow, and sometimes, with little water or sunshine, they die, only to be planted again on a new December 31.

As I reflect on my previous years’ resolutions, I notice a pattern of the same resolutions over and over.

  • Eat better.
  • Exercise more.
  • Write more.
  • Discover and experience new things.
  • Learn something.
  • Read more.

Rarely, if ever, am I successful in carrying a resolution through to the end of the year. But if I’m successful for a month, two months, or even a day, that’s better than nothing, right?

For now, I’m making an end-of-year resolution: To relax and enjoy these last few days of 2022–a year when things have started to inch toward normal after the surreality of the last couple of years.

In this last week of 2022, I will not swim upstream toward regrets of 2022, nor will I ride the rapids toward my hopes and dreams for 2023. Instead, I’ll gently float the river of this liminal space, the final, peaceful moments between 2022 and 2023.

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2 Responses to The Loveliness of Liminal

  1. Mine are the same every year to, almost identical to yours. 🙂
    I never fully acheive any of them, but like you say, even a few days or weeks is better than nothing. I have no regrets, just hope to do better next time.


  2. Good for you, Jan, enjoying this time. We loved having our daughters, a son-in-law, and 9-month-old grandson here for Christmas again and had a wonderful time, although the Southwest situation made life interesting for the family heading back to California! I’m also enjoying having the house back to ourselves, getting caught up on some things, and yes, enjoying the quiet.

    I usually don’t make resolutions/goals although I think about them and what I might want to do. Perhaps this year I’ll get around to it because I think the process of thinking what you’d like to do is a worthwhile thing whether formalized or not.

    Enjoy your time!


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