The last part of the year has arrived - that time of year where planning for the new both increases and goes into decline.
Increases? 2013 is already dangling in front of my face. Things I want to do next year - things I need to next year - are starting to shout for my attention. They are waving sheets of paper in front of me, shouting "I'm a goal - do me next year". Many more than I had originally thought are making an appearance, all demanding a turn to argue their merits.
And in decline? The countervailing movement is largely expressed in the here and now. It is the end of the year. The ability to do most of what I was going to do this year has passed; better to concentrate on that time which remains say the goals from 2012. If you become too enmeshed in what is coming, you will fail to complete what you can still do.
It is an odd counterbalance. On the one hand, planning for a new year - at least goal wise - is something which is always a little exciting and intoxicating: the year is a blank slate, ready to be written on. And let us be fair: I think in many ways 2012 has left me in a far better position in terms of setting and achieving goals than has been the case in some years. There is a certain sense of of hopefulness - if not for some specific situations in my life, then for the general.
The part I need to look to - the part I often hate to look to - is my failures. Where did I fail in my goals? Why did I fail in them? Is there any catch up possible in these last few weeks that will allow me to get over the top? There is not nearly the sense of excitement in doing things this way of course - but cleaning up old goals is like cleaning out cheesecloth after you make cheese: if you don't complete the process, it will smelly and sort of nasty for the following time.
Old and new, increase and decrease: perhaps that is why New Year was set when it was: to allow the slowness of the world outside to let us focus on the riotous world of thought on the inside.