Invariably on New Years’ Eve I begin to think about the big questions of life—growth, love, marriage, death, renewal, “dissertation,” and God/gods. I begin to think about the lessons I have learned or failed to learn during the year. I begin to wonder if the decisions made this year will affect unknown possibilities next year which now sits only 24 hours away. I begin to wonder if in the following year I will become “fully” the woman I know I am destined to be—confident, determined, spiritually discerning, situational crass, and open to various forms of intimacy. I begin to wonder. And of course, this leads me to think about if I will ever accomplish my dreams—opening a black girl’s academy in a rural context—as if dreams were things that happen overnight.

In some ways, New Years’ Eve makes me frantic about the future and worrisome about past decisions. At least for me, New Years’ Eve makes me reflective. And, I think this is a good thing. I think it is important to have times of reflection to think about your life and how you have chosen to live it . . . to think about the choices you have made and if they have born good or bad fruit . . . to think about the people you love and if they love you back in life affirming ways . . . to think about the obstacles and challenges that keep you from fulfilling your calling . . . to think about any and everything.

I think who ever invented New Years Eve was a wise being because we spend so much time during the year “leading unexamined lives” that we never have time to as the cliché goes “to stop and smell the roses.” Meaning, we never devote time to think in depth about our lives and how we live them and what shapes the decisions we make. And yet, if you are like me, New Years’ Eve like a determined black school teacher in the South makes you stop and at least spend a couple of minutes to examine the life you live.

And with this I wish each and every one of you a happy New Years’ Eve and hope you enjoy examining your life today.