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Goodbye, Hello

December 31, 2010

We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched.  Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives… not looking for flaws, but for potential.  ~Ellen Goodman

I woke in the dark this morning to a quick kiss on the cheek and  a waft of cologne. Coach was out of the house in the wee hours. Burrowed deep in the flannel sheets and toes heated by a furry dog I felt  so peaceful and content.  I began to reflect on this year, its impending passing and how my little family could celebrate it in a meaningful and introspective  manner.

Most of what is offered to us for how to celebrate New Year’s eve is through the TV and often portrays a revelry that I’d rather not share with the girls. While watching a glittering crystal ball fall can be entertaining for about 10.2 seconds the rest of the evening lies bare. Case in point. How do you explain why the ball is falling to a 7-year-old while you are distractedly doing something else. Try this on.

Sissy said they are going to drop balls in a square tonight and we get to see it on TV

“Mmhmm”

Why are they dropping balls?

“To celebrate New Years Eve”

Why is it  in a square?

Looking up at her, this is going to go on is it, OK …”Oh its in a city called New York and they have a big party outside tonight.  The area they are in is called Times Square because of a newspaper that is printed nearby called the Times. ( I made that last part up not sure if its true)

Can we go?

“No its too far away”

Like bouncy balls?

“Um no, not bouncy balls, a huge ball they’ve built out of  crystal  that hangs high up in the sky and is all lit up  inside, when it’s almost time for midnight the ball will drop”

Why a crystal ball?

“I’m not sure let me google it for an answer”  ” google says that it was created to bring people to New York and draw people to the new town square in 1904 ,it doesn’t say why they chose crystal, probably because its pretty and can be lit up inside”

Does it break like glass when it drops?

” No, it’s suspended on a pole that mechanically lets it slide down slowly over the last-minute of the year”

That’s boring.

Ahem.

This year I’ve planned a quiet in home evening with intentional moments.This year the concept of light has really spoken to me, closing the year by using candlelight and flame seems fitting.

We will eat by candlelight, 12 candles to be specific and go around the table reminiscing about the year. I will bring up different moments we’ve shared or memorable events to mark the months to help the conversation from going astray. After dinner a fire will be lit and the coffee table pulled close for a board game.

While we’re not Jewish I love the celebration of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Sins or mis-doings of the year are written down, tossed onto a body of water and symbolically float away. If it were not so cold and we were not so lazy I would take us to the beach to write 2010 in the sand letting the waves wash it and our papers with regrets  away. Should you live by a body of water, you could also write on  leaves with metallic ink and let your past float downstream. Instead you will find us nice and toasty near the fire with slips of paper in a basket. Most likely Harmony will need help writing her thoughts down but otherwise this is a personal moment offered to each of us. Our symbolic purge will be done with fire and our hearts wiped clean as we burn the past misdeeds or regrets.

Turing to the new family and personal goals will be written down and depending on the general consensus either burned, or placed in a jar to open next year. I’ve  read of blowing wishes into bubbles, painting a symbolic family picture that is hung up, writing a family poem or even creating a family mission statement each year. I’ve bought each of a journal in hopes of having the girls begin to follow Coach and I’s  practice of gratitude journaling. Though now as I write this it might be more meaningful to have one family book that we can all add to. Hmm something to ponder.

Dessert will be s’mores and sparkling apple cider as we toast the New Year Eastern standard time here in the Pacific.

During a quiet moment after the girls are asleep  tonight I’ll journal my resolutions:

To begin something new that I love

To let go of something that is not working

To find a way to mark and live in the NOW

To release regret of the past

To reflect daily as I go to sleep

To recognize through appreciation of all that is blessed in my life. ( Dear readers, you are all included here)

Tomorrow lots of silly superstitions for an auspicious year. First I will kiss my true love at midnight and open all the doors for the year to leave. In the morning a breakfast of donuts to mark the circle of the year, rice, black-eyed peas, greens, cabbage and  pork for dinner to portend luck and prosperity. We eat 12 grapes each and jingle  coins in our pockets. I’ll make sure a dark-haired good-looking man is the first person over the threshold  for good luck and just like the Danish no laundry all day lest someone in my home be washed away. Go Danes!

Happy New Year to you and yours, may this year be filled with beauty, harmony , order and  really really good food.

Te

We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.” By Edith Lovejoy Pierce

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