I spent most of my Christmas holiday indoors last year. To be honest, it is not peculiar of me to do that, I don’t go for holiday in December. I just don’t like doing things when everyone else is doing them. But I was also not in a position to go even if I wanted to. I had undergone a minor procedure just before Christmas day and it was required of me to slow down. Being indoors meant that I got time to be with family and self. I had no work, no deadlines, no pressure, just time, time to rest and yes, time to slow down. I run around a lot-not literally though, that would totally kill me- but generally in life. I guess God in His wisdom finds ways of slowing me down from time to time because I wouldn’t do that voluntarily.

So as the year came to a close and a new year dawned I couldn’t help but reflect on a couple of things. I woke up on the first day of the New Year, got out of the bed and went to the living room. I drew the curtains, eased myself on to my favorite seat and stared at the blank wall before me. As I sat there, motionless, I realized that nothing had changed. The sun still rose from the east, at the same intensity and temerity as it had the year before. The sky wasn’t new, the birds outside my window didn’t sound different either yet it was a “New Year”.

I had the same horrible headache that I had when I went to bed the year before. My back was still hurting, my eyes were still swollen and my mind was still blank, totally blank. So as I sat there and pondered, it hit me that there was nothing new. I realized that a new year doesn’t come or happen just because we got a new calendar; a new year is made. But most of us don’t want to roll up our sleeves and make our year. We would rather make proclamations and declarations on the 31st and then hope and believe that we will get all we have possessed. It doesn’t work that way, sadly.

See we are like a plane, say a Boeing 777 and life is similar to a flight. Take offs and touchdowns are the most intricate bits of flights. Any pilot worth his salt must be able to get these two pivotal events right, if he doesn’t then he might end up not taking off at all or crash landing the plane. Pilots take hours of training to master the art of take off and landing. Then there’s the other bit of the flight that is called cruising. Here, the pilot will key in the particulars of the flight, that is, coordinates that determine the flight path, speed, altitude et cetera and then hit the auto pilot button. The plane can now follow a certain predetermined path without the intervention of the pilot.

My sad realization is that a majority of us are at auto-pilot-cruise-mode in life. We are drifting. Some of us are flying in the momentum of 2003 in 2023. We think we are fine but really, we are on autopilot, drifting. We only get shocked into a spasm at the end of the year and so we instinctively shout, proclaim, declare and then continue drifting. So there’s no newness in the New Year. We have failed to understand that for a New Year to be new, we have to be intentional to land the previous year’s plane and take off the New Year’s plane. Every new season requires of us to deliberately lay down certain things, relationships, and habits and pick up new ones. Every new season requires for us to rethink how we want to live our lives. Every new season requires a transformation and new effort to take off, not shouts and proclamations but intentional and deliberate effort.

Every new season requires the end of another season. And yes, most of us don’t like endings and not all endings must be because a season is tragic or painful. No, some seasons, even beautiful ones require a landing, an ending and a moving away from. Why? Because that flight has come to an end and we can no longer fuel it. Not only does a new season require the landing of an old one, it requires that we check the plane, let the plane rest, recuperate even, service it, check whether everything is working the way it is supposed to and then refuel it depending on how long the next flight is going to take. When all that is done, we can safely take off into a new season.

So I figured that I had drifted for too long. I landed that flight, decided which flight path I needed to take for 2023 and took off again. I intend to fly not as I did in 2022 but as I choose to in this new season. So January is almost coming to a close, how are you doing? Are you drifting? I hope not.

Welcome back to justmwendwa.com and thank you for reading.

  1. There is a need for such a read! It jigsaw fits perfectly with where we are at.There are more misses than hits when it comes to the fads around new year.The take-offs and touchdowns analogy has done tones of Justice to help since its a cry for help situation.

    Have learnt a lot.Thanks! While you were away we missed the spits of your pen.Welcome back.

  2. Hello Mwendwa. Your style of relaying that which you face resonates so well with the situation of life of common men that I find it lovely. You’ve likened growth to a flight, something that is really adorable for aviators like myself. The flight of life is like a turbulent windstorm that hits from nowhere. It requires the Captain of the cruise to master the sail. It is the one thing that we have failed at. This was inspirational. #aspiretodobetter

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