I can’t believe we are about to start another new year. What do you all do for New Year’s eve? Do you have any special traditions? True confession- New Year’s Eve always depressed me and I have never really liked it. I guess it is partly all the hype of it being about these big fabulous parties that you are supposed to ring the new year in with. That and the general melancholy of saying goodbye to another year (and sometimes the people that went with it). It seems like there is so much pressure to ring in the new year in some fabulous way, yet we never did. (The bottom of this post will have some inspiration, so bear with me.)
New Year’s as a Child
Growing up, my dad often worked new years eve and was either gone or in bed or something. I remember our celebrations always being at home with just my brother, Mom and I. Nothing too exciting, except that Mom always had (and still does) good food and snacks around. There was some excitement the year that Mom decided to try to BE exciting by lighting M-80′s and trying to quickly throw them out the back door to ring the new year in with “a bang” (nearly burning her finger off because of the short fuses).
And actually, now that I think about it, I guess I used to take the hole punch and make a bunch of paper confetti so that I could toss it up in the air at midnight. Lucky for us we had a fun mom who wasn’t overly concerned about messes. I don’t recall us ever having parties though or going anywhere. Sometimes we lit sparklers and went running outside and that was kind of fun ( I think we did this in our 20′s even).
New Year’s as a Teen:
There was only one New Year’s that I remember having plans. My senior year in high school, when I actually had a boyfriend. I was soo looking forward to new year’s eve with my best friend and our boyfriends. Until my guy decided to stand me up (because he was about to dump me it turns out). Sad as it might sound, that turned out to be one of my most memorable and best New Year’s Eves, jut because it was different. I wound up going to a single friend’s house that was in the choir with me, and two other kids from our choir that I rarely hung out with came too. We randomly went across the street to an old couple’s house (her neighbor’s) and I ate party food and sang karaoke with complete strangers. We sang Christmas carols.
At midnight, we the single square pegs who had no where else to fit, hugged each other and exclaimed, “Happy New Year!” But let’s fast forward to the present. I still don’t get really excited about the ball dropping. Can anyone else relate? I don’t know what magic I am expecting to happen, but the 5, 4 , 3, 2, 1 countdown while standing in your living room staring at a tv with your husband was still a bit of a let down for some reason. We’d go through the motions of this fake feeling “oh Yay!!!!” thing. When really in my head I would be thinking, “well this is lame.” I suppose if you are at a party or in a crowd of people doing something, it would feel very different. I always thought it felt kind of lonely and didn’t live up to the hype. SO un-inspired.
From Lack Luster to Meaningful- New Year’s Eve Now:
As I have gotten older, I have started to look at the New Year’s Eve thing in a different way. When you are older, things seem to take on a deeper meaning. I started to think of New Year’s as an opportunity for gratitude and clarity. I find I feel more fulfilled when I take some quiet time in solitude and prayer to reflect and connect with my spirit and God. Now I actually miss it if I DON’T get my quiet time in solitude for a little while New Year’s Eve.
Matt and I do some festive things earlier on. We usually go down to my parents house for some treats, or play games, or watch movies and order pizza. As it gets later in the evening though, I like to slip away upstairs and sit quietly in all the twinkle lights with candles lit. I take some time to look back at the blessings I have recorded throughout the year. I thank God for what I have. I think about what I accomplished and where I want to go in the coming year. I do NOT make resolutions anymore.
Instead of Resolutions…
Instead of resolutions, I like to set intentions periodically throughout the year. Intentions are basically little goals. As I reflect on what I want out of my life next, I usually pick a focus word I want to be my theme for the coming year. Something my soul feels it really needs for the next evolution of my life. I write down my intentions and my word, which are usually different but support one another in some way. Sometimes I do this with a friend on the phone, since I don’t have local friends who are free New Year’s.
In 2016 my word was “Simple”. With all the changes in my life of being a new wife and home owner, etc. , it just felt like I needed to remind myself I had permission to keep things simple. This word was quite a contrast to my intention for the year- which was to design my new sister brand to We Live Inspired and launch the ETSY store. I DID get those things accomplished though, and my word of the year helped me to dial it back a notch if I started to get overwhelmed.
So that is what I will be doing tonight. I will have fun with Matt and then at about 9 or 10 pm get in my favorite pajamas with a glass of something bubbly and the champagne truffles Mom bought me for Christmas. I will settle in with colorful gel pens and my notebook , or perhaps one of SARK’s books on being a Succulent Wild Woman . And I will reflect and write, thank God for all I have, and say a prayer for what I want in the new year. I will pick my word, set my theme. Set an intention or two (with permission to change these intentions if anything else pops up on my journey instead), and get excited about what miracles may occur in 2017.
Future New Year’s Ideas:
Some year I would like to host or attend some type of gathering with like minded people, where we have a Succulent Wild Pajama party , dreaming about the future and setting intentions together. It would be fun to have a support network in person to do that sort of thing with. Other new traditions that I am mentally playing with are my husband and I doing something different in the future. Maybe getting really fixed up and going to dinner, or maybe spending New Year’s Eve in a hotel or B&B somewhere not too far away for a change of scenery. Maybe that will be my goal for next year.
I know one thing- part of living inspired is starting new traditions! If something is all hum drum to us, what could we do differently with what we have and where we are in life to shake things up a bit? What are your New Year’s Eve rituals or traditions? What would you really like to do if you could do anything on New Year’s Eve?
Whatever you do, just know I am supporting you and cheering you on along the way. Drop me a line anytime. With Love and Inspiration , Rebekah