Well, it’s come to that point again: the arbitrary point at which we say an old year has finished, and a new year has begun. It’s neither the start of summer in the southern hemisphere, nor the beginning of winter in the northern hemisphere. But it does get me a public holiday tomorrow as part of a full week break from work, so I guess I’m not complaining.

Even though it’s an arbitrary point in time, I do think this time of year is a chance to reflect on the past and look forward to the future. Sometimes the reflection is frustration: The past year didn’t even come close to achieving what we wanted it to, and we don’t know what to try next in the new year. And sometimes the reflection is gladness: The old year contained times of joy and achievement, and we hope for the new year to do the same. I did some of that yesterday, and the reflection is probably not over yet, because it is dangerous continually looking forward without ever looking back. Maybe I go the opposite way and look back too much, but we’ll see how it goes.

It has also become a time for New Year’s Resolutions: traditionally, impractical resolutions that sound good at the time and would make you better, but are a success if they last more than a day. I have usually just ignored the whole resolution process, but have sometimes had success when I set myself a realistic goal for the new year and achieved it. For this year, I want to blog more and see what direction writing down my thoughts can take me. Not a particularly difficult resolution. Not a brilliant new idea that sprung up fully formed on January 1, 2017. But at least I should be able to achieve it.

As it turns out, today is also the day when I changed my name from “Jonathan Morgan” to “Jon Morgan” in quite a few places, including email, Facebook, and Twitter. Though the date may look suspicious, this is not a new year’s resolution. I’ve been “Jon” in real life and “Jonathan” in official life for many years. As part of setting up this site I’ve been re-assessing what I want my digital identity to look like, and “Jon” clearly won out. I had already changed a few places in recent weeks, and it just happened that I saw a “Jonathan” today and it annoyed me enough to change it a little more systematically.

But not everything changes just because it’s a new year:
Yesterday, I went out walking in the Dandenong Ranges and found an echidna.
Today, I went out walking in the Dandenong Ranges and found a type of bird I don’t remember coming across before.
Some things don’t change from one day to the next or from one year to the next.
Life goes on.

Happy New Year!