I used to hate New Year’s Eve because the hype felt unattainable. You know—have something cool to do. Look great. Make a killer resolution. Kiss someone “special” at the stroke of midnight like in a fucking fairy tale. I’m rolling my eyes here. I just couldn’t buy into the blah, blah, blah of the day. Too contrived. Too fabricated. Too cliche. Then I decided to start shaping it into something I wanted to participate in.
I got very clear about what this event should look like for me. And, the clarity came in what I was absolutely NOT wanting to do. I refused to be with people who were not important to me. I chose to be alone than to be with the wrong people. I refused to do things I didn’t really want to do. I’d rather stay home than fake my way through an experience.
When did I start loving New Year’s Eve?
I started loving New Year’s Eve the exact moment that I realized I was in charge of my experienced and I didn’t have to do anything if I didn’t want to. That simple. Choice. A shift in perception. There’s that miracle again (thanks Marianne Williamson). One of the first New Year’s Eves of my choosing, I stayed home. I made sure my home was clean. I made sure I had a delicious plate of food to nosh on (homemade french fries cooked in olive oil with feta cheese and oregano—if you must know). And I cleaned myself up as if I was going out but I didn’t. I stayed home, deeply content. Satisfied. Safe. Pleased. The exhale at midnight was awe-inspiring. I remember, around 1:00 am heading to bed with the happiest heart.
Comparison is the thief of joy
This revolutionary New Year’s Eve was on my terms. And from then on all other December 31sts were just like that one, completely satisfying my expectation as I wanted the night to go. I didn’t ask what others were doing. I didn’t care. When folks shared what they were doing I was happy for them and I didn’t compare. I couldn’t because mine felt perfect for me. Sometimes people would find out I was alone and they’d invite me out. Um, no thanks. I’m good. For real.
Not just one night
Do it your way.
It’s not just one night. I believe in the energy of this night carrying over into the new year. I believe it sticks with us through the year so whatever we intend is super important. I think that’s the point, isn’t it? My intention was to be happy, peaceful. I created that for one night but slowly over the year—and years—this New Year’s Eve vibe has stuck with me and life seems to be getting better.
Let’s talk about traditions
Last year I wrote a blog post about the traditions that I have come do every New Year’s Eve. I am superstitious about them and in short, here they are: Bake a vasilopita; set the table; leave a suitcase at the door; wear red underwear; tie a red/pink/gold ribbon to your undergarments; clean the house; eat twelve grapes at midnight; stand on your right foot; put a gold coin (or anything gold) in your drink; break a pomegranate at your door; stand on your right foot; pray; enter with your right foot; set an intention.
If you want the details of the how and why of all of these click on New Year’s Eve Traditions. You may even have your own traditions, rituals you’ve come into year after year—things you’ve done or eaten or enjoyed. Maybe the 31st is the day you promise yourself to do absolutely nothing—not even plan for the coming days or months or years. Well, good for you! It’s your year so it should be designed by you as you intend it.
As the years have passed I have added my New Year’s Eve rituals to my evening of only doing what I love, being with people I love and I have added these fun little tasks. They also have not let me down. My playbook is working.
The opinion of others
A friend reposted a thought on Facebook by an author who I will not name because I don’t fully agree with the post now that I have read it a couple of times. Why do we start a new year, with promises to improve? Who began this tradition of never-ending pressure? I say, the end of a year, should be filled with congratulation, for all we survived. And I say a new year should start with promises to be kinder to ourselves, to understand better just how much we bear, as humans on this exhausting treadmill of life.
We are all entitled to our opinions, and since this is my blog post I am about to share mine. I cannot imagine not wanting to be better, day by day and year by year in any capacity which I get to define. I love the idea of improving my ability to communicate or to be more peaceful or more steady, to love more wholeheartedly. I love the idea of improving my health so that I may live a long and comfortable life in my body. I do not feel any pressure in working on myself for me—because it’s for me, not anyone else. My gift to myself is to be alive and to be the best version of myself. It can definitely end with congratulations but, for me, it must also begin with an enthusiastic “YOU’VE GOT THIS GIRL!”
I don’t believe in perfection (you could probably tell by the number of errors in my blog posts). I believe in gratitude and opportunity. I don’t believe that life is an exhausting treadmill. If it is, I’m doing something very wrong. I see the reboot of the new year as an opportunity. The author does go on to say that we should focus on kindness and compassion and I agree but I also feel like our duty is to be the best versions of ourselves—regarding life from an optimistic place.
I do feel that promises to improve one’s self are not never-ending pressure. They are a gift. I do not compare my improvement to anyone else’s. I feel no pressure when I make intentions for the next twelve months. I do not engage in resolutions but I do think deeply about what I’d like to create and how I’d like to walk through this year.
I feel like this is the biggest point for me.
I ask myself with what energy do I intend to bring in 2023? With what energy do I intend to say goodbye to 2022? I am acutely aware that I am blessed and that my life is rolling forward with optimistic aspirations. I will keep digging my heels in and while I prepare for this new year I will acknowledge all the blessings of the past twelve months.
May you have the 2023 that you intend.
As always, thank you for reading lovelies.
Love this – New Year’s Eve your own terms makes perfect sense. Great post.
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Thank you so much for appreciating my take on NYE! @apeacefultree
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