Prompted from Laura’s post here I gave a lot of thought to how my New Year’s celebrations are different from the rest of the world. As someone who chose at age four to never drink alcohol, New Year’s is not a time for me to drink. I did attend a few parties in my younger years, but never participated in drinking.
My typical plans when my children were young were to stay up until midnight and allow them to bundle up, go out into the back yard, and bang on pots with wooden spoons. They were so excited to be allowed to stay up late. Back then there were not as many crazies as there are now. A few fireworks could be heard as well as some loud Happy New Year’s cheers. Now there are so many explosions, the poor dogs are all in fear for their lives. My dog is not a fan of this holiday activity.
When my daughters were teens, I stayed up worrying about their safety and sanity. It was not an easy time for an overprotective mom. I wanted them home, safe and sound. I knew they were at risk of the rest of the world who drove while under the influence.
When they moved out on their own I hoped I wouldn’t worry about them. Worrying is part of my DNA. I always felt better when/if I knew they were in their homes.
In my second marriage we once had a lovely tradition of spending time together on blankets watching movies until the ball fell and then celebrated with apple cider. As I live on the west coast, I never needed to be up late.
Now I watch the ball fall in my time, which is three hours earlier than New York, and I try to get some sleep before the ruckus I know will wake me. I am not much of a sleeper so any time I successfully doze off is a win for me.
I do not have a tree to take down, as I celebrate Hanukkah. I do usually put away my Hanukkah decorations before the New Year. This year I was too unhappy to decorate. I lit my candles each night, as that makes me happy and connected to my traditions.
I do not make resolutions. They are a waste of time. I do try to daily give myself pep talks to be happy, to find joy, and to do good.
Any day that I learn something new is a good day.
Any day that I do a mitzva is a good day.
Any day that I rid myself of unneeded items or unneeded feelings is a good day.
Any day that I do a joyful activity is a good day.
Any day that I feel loved from family or friends is a good day.
Any day that I send love off to the universe is a good day.
So, I do not need the New Year holiday to do new things. Every day is an opportunity to do things that are good for me. I am grateful that I am the odd woman out. I am grateful for every new day. I know that 2020 will begin with difficult experiences. But I have faith that the difficult times will lead to a joyful future life.