Every morning when I awaken and go downstairs, one of the little things I do right away is to go to the object on the right of this picture and update the date. Once a month I have to turn the long bottom part which shows which month it is.
Some days I think "where does the time go?" As I write this it's already 12th January. Wait a minute. Wasn't Christmas and New Year just last week?
And it's 2020. But only a few years ago it wasn't even 2000. And for us over fifty - I'm 60 - the 1980s doesn't seem long ago.
We can get caught up in times and dates and years. Some make us happy, some sad, some a mixture of both. And as years become decades we can feel time slipping away.
But mindfulness teaches us to notice reality. And the reality is that the time doesn't go anywhere, that time does not slip away. Rather, the present moment is always here for you, for me, for all of us. And it's always the present moment.
Some dates can be useful for us as ways to remember things that matter to us. Birthdays, anniversaries, that kind of thing. But there's a real freshness, optimism and hope to seeing things as they really are, namely that every moment is a new beginning. Every moment is a New Year. As one of my favourite songwriters put it so memorably "I wish it could be Christmas every day" - well why not? What's stopping you? Just some old cultural conventions that say we celebrate on 25th December but not on 24th, and definitely not on 12th January.
You are free to make of any moment, any time of day or night, any day of the week, and month, and year, exactly what you want to make of it. So although keep track of time and dates are important in our society and culture, don't let this trap you into thinking that some days are for doing one thing and not doing something else. Live your life to the full, and treat time as a gift every moment.
Have a lovely day whichever day you happen to be reading this!