Are you readyEverybody keeps asking me if I’m ready for the new year.

I not sure I know what that means. I know what it means to “get ready” for Christmas spiritually through the disciplines of Advent and the gift-buying and menu shopping and decorating. I suppose it’s possible to get ready for a New Year’s Eve celebration.

But getting for the whole new year?

Am I supposed to buy more presents? My sister and my neighbor say “Yes!” (They think they’re on the list. Not happening.)

Someone else suggests it means getting tax documents ready for the accountant. I am so not ready on that score.

Who can predict what a new year will bring in order to prepare?

A year ago I had no idea I would stand before my brother’s closet choosing clothes to send to the mortuary, or that two weeks later another brother would have his aortic valve replaced unexpectedly. I didn’t know I would help move my mom from Florida to Illinois. I didn’t know I would sign publishing contracts that have me insanely busy at the moment! I didn’t know I’d have a month-long occipital neuralgia headache—or even what one was. I didn’t know I’d get an awesome new chair for my office. I didn’t know the surge of pride that would overtake me when my daughter got the official notification saying that yes, her application for graduation from college was approved.

How do you get ready for the unknown?

You can’t wait for things to break down in your life before you worry about being healthy. And you can’t wait for everything to be perfect before you feel joy.

Do I have healthy supportive relationships? Am I eating like I care what happens to my body? Is my spiritual life vibrant? Do I take time to laugh at my friend’s hilarious story or go to a movie that makes me hold my breath?

Being ready for a new year means all these things, rather than having my heart set on any particular outcomes. Am I ready? I’d like to think so.

How about you? What are the things you do to make sure you’re ready, come what may?