The New Year

4 years ago

The New Year is just around the corner.

I always find that the end of the year sneaks up on me. I think that part of it might be because I live in a state that does not have proper seasons. I also have a theory that an old friend and I discussed about time relativity related to your age but that is another topic….

This year has had many ups and downs. My Mom died after a battle with cancer. The next week that friend that had hypothetical discussions with me died too. Then more of The Bad Stuff happened but there was some Good Stuff too: I furthered my career, I was loved, I traveled. I was happy and sad and happy and sad – over and over again all through the year. Honestly, I will not be very sad to see 2013 go.

For many years I have had a New Year’s ritual that begins in December around the holidays. I finish my holiday chores early (see the Black Friday post) so I have time to enjoy the season and part of that involves preparing for the New Year.

I have a list of questions that I ask myself each year – this list evolves as some questions become more relevant that others as time passes. I sit and think (usually with some coffee) and will have all of these answered, honestly, by New Year’s Eve.

  1. What habits would I like to change or release & what new habits should I begin?
  2. Who should I forgive?
  3. Am I doing work that is good (for me, for my family, for the world as a whole)?
  4. What did I accomplish this year?
  5. Do I feel trapped in any area of my life?
  6. How can I be a better parent?
  7. How can I be a better romantic partner?
  8. How can I be a better friend?
  9. What am I passionate about?
  10. What have I learned?
  11. Do I do the things that bring me joy in my free time?
  12. Have I been healthy – in my mind, body, soul?

 

After I have my honest answers I think of what I will change and make my resolutions for the following year. I am one of the strange people who have a great track record for keeping resolutions (minus a few). I write them down and usually tell people what they are so I am accountable.

On New Year’s Eve I start a fire and write all of the things that no longer serve me, and the life that I am trying to cultivate, on paper and burn them. I do not usually share these things, so there is no shame – I can just let it go, close that chapter, and move on toward the clean slate of a new year.

 I always count down to the New Year. A few minutes after midnight

I text all of the people I care about.

Then the tradition changes up at this point – sometimes I am at a party, sometimes I am with someone I love, sometimes I have a jar full of Good Things that have happened throughout the year to read. Sometimes I go to bed….. but no matter what I am always thankful for the fresh start.

May 2014 be full of The Good Stuff. 

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