Monday, December 31, 2012

2013 Approaching

Ringing in the New Year

Reasons to Celebrate

New Year's Ball in Time Square
So the day has come; it's New Years Eve. The day when people drink to oblivion, make a list of resolutions that they probably won't keep or will simply forget in the next couple weeks, wear silly hats and sunglasses that bear the year, and can use the phrase "ball dropping" without smirking. But what is this day really about? As I said in my previous post, Magical Snowflakes, I am not a huge fan of New Year's resolutions. It is too difficult to make a single resolution that encompasses all of our wants. And when making a resolution it is impossible to know if a single year is enough time to complete it or if said resolution will still be important to us a few months from now. Lengthy lists that contain numerous resolutions pose problems of their own. How important can a resolution be if it is one of many? Is it feasible to successfully fulfill or complete 20+ resolutions in 365 days? 
No one's too old for silliness on New Year's-
When it comes to making resolutions it seems to me that we are going to fail ourselves in one way or another. Our resolution won't accurately reflect the totality of our deepest desires. Or we create a resolution that takes more than one year to complete, resulting in feelings of failure when we are unable to accomplish it in a year's span. Or we come up with a resolution that is so important to us right now but as the year goes on it becomes irrelevant or less of a priority. I just feel that making New Year's resolutions is a futile practice. Instead of making a list of things we would like to change in the upcoming year I think we should create a list of reasons to celebrate as we leave 2012 behind and ring in the New Year. 
Why have we made the New Year so important? Start any time !
I have been contemplating recently why the New Year is celebrated. Is it because we are happy to leave the past year behind? Are we excited for a fresh start and new opportunities? Are we thankful that we managed to make it through another year? Do we feel that it indicates a definitive starting point to make changes in our lives? I am not really sure why New Year's Eve is such a big deal. We have the ability to do all of these things at any point in our lives- wipe our slate clean, pursue new things, give thanks for our lives, decide to change our ways. 

"New Year's is a harmless annual institution, of no particular use to anybody save as a scapegoat for promiscuous drunks, and friendly calls and humbug resolutions."

- Mark Twain

As 2013 approaches I want to reflect on my life- past, present, and future- and truly be cognisant of what exactly it is that I am celebrating. So I am going to share a brief list with you that includes a number of my reasons to celebrate tonight and during the first few days of 2013.

  • I am celebrating the New Year with my family instead of in a treatment facility
  • I have finished the Fall Semester and I am looking forward to returning to school for my Spring semester
  • I am happy with my weight and comfortable in my body
  • I have used my voice over the past year and have been able to compromise with my team (regarding a number of issues) that has benefited my happiness and well-being
  • I have a family that loves, supports, and has faith in me
  • I have friends all over the world who I feel connected to although some of us are thousands of miles apart
  • I was able to adopt my kitten, Milly. And she has saved me- emotionally, mentally, physically- in ways that I never could have anticipated
  • I am alive!
Know the reasons your are celebrating-
This is just a brief portion of my list. (I could go on forever but I thought I would spare you.) I have reflected on my past, present, and future and recognized the many blessings that give me reason to celebrate tonight. 2013 is approaching and I have no plans to make any huge changes in my life. I am relatively happy where I am and with what I am doing at the moment. But, just because I don't have a list of resolutions doesn't mean that I don't have a sense of direction for the upcoming year. By forming a list of reasons to celebrate I have been able to recognize all that I have and wish to keep in the future. This list compels me to continue fighting, blogging, working, and doing what I am doing. No, I am not overhauling my life; but, I don't feel any need to do so. Why be pressured to make a change when you are perfectly content with the way things are? Instead, I am resolved to continue doing exactly what I have been doing, in the hopes of pursuing happiness in my life. My list of reasons provides me with factual evidence of what I have accomplished, what I am thankful for, and what I enjoy about my life. It inspires me to keep up the good work in the New Year. It encourages me by reminding me of all that I have done and thus, all I am capable of doing. And it gives me hope; 2012 has gifted me so many wonderful things and I don't see why 2013 would be any different.
As 2013 approaches and you prepare to ring in the New Year I encourage you to take a moment for yourself in order to make a list of all your reasons to celebrate. Don't ring in the New Year and cheer when the "ball drops" without knowing why you are celebrating. Allow this list to help you moving forward; let it inspire and encourage you. Look at all the things in your life that you are thankful for and hold on to them. As you ring in the New Year let your list of reasons guide you. Instead of embarking upon supposedly life changing resolutions you can make the decision to keep things just the way they are in order to maintain the many reasons that make up your list. The New Year is an important time for many of us. It marks a moment that allows us to reflect upon our past and think about our future in the year to come. If you recognize things in your life that you would like to change than by all means go for it! But, don't put undue pressure on yourself by creating a one year deadline. Some things just need a bit more time. I encourage you to focus on the positives this New Year's Eve, rather than the negatives or elements of your life that you are not satisfied with. 
I hope you are able to have fun, celebrate, and enjoy the festivities. By all means wear goofy New Year's garb, scream "the ball is dropping" at the top of your lungs, and drink until your body can take no more. But don't ring in the New Year without knowing exactly why you are celebrating. Maybe you are celebrating being with your family. Perhaps you are embarking on a new job. Maybe you are celebrating for a simple reason- going on vacation, finishing a semester, making a new friend. Or perhaps like me, you are celebrating that fact that you made it through another year and life feels pretty damn good! 

"Celebrate with a purpose."

"Year's end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us."

- Hal Borland

Happy New Year to you all! Celebrate with a purpose. Begin 2013 with a sense of direction. And of course, be safe tonight, no matter what you are doing, as you are ringing in the New Year!

One year down and many more to go,

New Year's Eve, 1 Day Til 2013


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