Welcome to 2024.
I don’t know about you, but I find New Year’s Day to feel crisp and fresh, no matter the weather. (It doesn’t hurt that here, on the Coast of Illinois, it leans towards the below freezing mark.)
The entire new year stretches out on that pristine new calendar of island photos and my new day planner is loaded with goals, just waiting to be checked off in the appropriate coordinating colored pen.
Never mind that the new day planner has pages for only 160 days… I guess at the end of the book I should be so well organized that I no longer need a planner…
(perhaps one of my goals should be to read the product descriptions more carefully before I obsessively order something I just can’t do without)
But where is the fun of that?
You lose all magic in the world if you analyze every little detail.
Which is why the word MAGIC is my word for 2024.
I have long since given up on resolutions. By day six I have missed a deadline or surpassed a calorie count or skipped a workout and then the entire year is clearly shot.
Around the time of the pandemic, I read about choosing a word to guide and define your year.
This, I can do.
I found my word this year on a post by one of my favorite Peloton instructors - Sam Yo @yoiamsamyo. Sam posted a word grid with instructions to look closely for what word you find first, and this will help define your year.
MAGIC immediately popped out.
In fact, I have been back to look at the grid several times and truth here - I have a hard time finding any other words. Yes, I know that now that my mind has found MAGIC it will always go there first, but moving on from that initial word yields irritation and the tiny yet insistent voice in my head tells me to STOP LOOKING!
And I am good with that.
Magic in this world is one of my favorite things to believe in and experience. It’s what fueled my original idea here of Seeing Hairnets.
Such a random event, walking in to work, only to spot not one discarded hairnet but SEVEN?! This is the World’s Magic in overdrive. (sure, it might be that I work with a bunch of non-caring slobs.) But I prefer to believe that the World wants us to have a laugh.
Let me give you a visual example of some recent Magic.
There is a secluded, employee walkway from the fancy garage into my hospital. It’s a long, boring hall painted institutional green with glaring overhead lights that flash on as you pass. There is a chronic patch of institutional grey carpet that is wet with an industrial fan blowing the potential musty smell away.
Some how, the paint of one section tore the way weird things happen to secluded walls. Some wonderful person noticed the rip and assigned a shape to it. Which suddenly gained google eyes.
This random cat shape caught the attention of a few other amazing people and this happened:
Bartholomew suddenly became the underground talk of the entire hospital staff. Look closely, he has a Leg Lamp, a window with CURTAINS and various celebrities peaking in, snowflakes, a Charlie Brown tree and personal Christmas cards!
Everyday we waited for a Bartholomew update, while silently praying that the Powers that Be hadn’t gotten wind and deemed it a fire hazard thus taking it down overnight.
But this did not happen.
Bartholomew has lived in that hallway for close to the entire month of December and he has upgraded his home!
Fireplace, Christmas lights, even GIFTS!
I have heard so many people talking about how happy this display makes them as they walk in to work. The surprise of how silly and over the top it has become! The fact that management has not removed it!
We all know that some day Bartholomew will leave us. And like so many lives that suddenly leave, we will mourn him. But the Magic of this moment will always bring us together and make us smile.
This is the sort of crazy fun we need more of.
That one wonderful person who noticed a Cat in torn paint!
The person who felt he needed curtains on a window!
The complete and utter silliness and joy that brought us all together in a place that is more times than not sad and difficult to be.
I am wishing each of you a year filled with this sort of Magic.
May you discover it on your own. May it wash over you. And when it does, share it with Everyone.
Happy New Year from the Coast of Illinois.