For the Brand New Year

December 31, 2014

I think I learned to stop hyping up New Years Eve the year that Jess and I spent the holiday in London, and I was slipped liquid meth in my drink at a private pub party. I was delivered by ambulance to Jess’ apartment and sleeping it all off by 11pm. How’s that for adventure? I’m a little more quiet about New Years Eve these days (or have spent them working in restaurants), but I still like the symbolism of a fresh start. I like the opportunity to set an intention-- to begin with a seemingly clean slate, and to think about what I’d like to invite more of into my life or clear away (sometimes more of this than anything).

Here are some of the rituals for the new year that I particularly like:

+ Taking time to clean & throw out old/unneeded crap & maybe even burning some sage if it seems needed. I sorted through my closet this week and left only the handful of items that I regularly wear. Everything else went to Savers or got saved for a clothing swap (or put in a plastic bin for next year). It feels really nice to start the new year with less clutter. 

Making a Mondo Beyondo list, which is essentially a list of really gigantic (and hopefully impractical) dreams that you'd like to accomplish-- maybe this year, maybe in this lifetime. Andrea Scher runs her Mondo Beyondo ecourse each January (this year it starts January 12) and I highly recommend it. 

+ Choosing words. My friends Betsy and Molly have the tradition of choosing 3 words for the year past and 3 for the year to come. Sometimes it feels very appropriate to ceremoniously burn the words for the year past. Last year I found myself just focusing on one word to invite into the year to come, usually based on what I think I could use more of. Last year I chose 'thrive' and the year before 'release' and both were great accompaniments to my year- something to reflect on in literal and metaphorical ways. This podcast with Elise Blaha Cripe and Ali Edwards discusses this kind of word intention. 

+ If you're a fan of processing via writing, these end-of-year prompts are good ones. 

It was a year of stretching for me-- I think they call that 'growth'? It's not to easily summarized as 'good' or 'bad', though there were certainly huge amounts of joy. I'm grateful to have to have this space to document the passing of time and the transitions I've been through in the past few years. Here's to more growth (and especially joy) in the new year.


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