There are lots of ways people say goodbye to the year that is ending. Some seem more effective and useful than others. Some seem insane...
I worked with a lady who was Cape Verdean, and it was part of her culture (this could have been specific only to her family. Who knows? It's my story now, damn it) to clean her entire house, sweep the stairs, dump out all the trash, dirt, lint, unmentionables, all the bad juju so as not to bring that nastiness into the new year.
I know another friend of mine who writes down all the things she didn't like about the previous year, and then burns the list so as not to bring that nastiness into the new year.
I know other people who will plunge themselves into the icy depths of coastal, New England waters. They call these Polar Plunges or Penguin Swims. I call them ridiculous. Maybe it's madness, bravado, or some new age, new year baptismal--a way of cleansing the bad juju so as not to bring that nastiness into the new year.
I've tried cleaning like a mad woman. I've made the bad juju list (and burned it and almost my kitchen.) I've thought about subjecting my pasty, weenie self to frigid New England waters (and then rejected that really bad idea!) But the ritual I like the most is making a list of things I'd like to see happen. No, they're not resolutions, more like suggestions to myself. I started this in 2010 and it has been interesting to check in on my past self, one year later. Here is a sample list from last year:
Looking over this list, I have to admit that I did achieve a lot of these goals. Then again, some of them I sucked at achieving or just plain ignored them.
Interesting point though, the first one:
Huh. Before I wrote this post, I was stressing about vacuuming the apartment, folding the laundry, and getting my tutu ready for the party I'm going to later on this evening. Then it hit me...
Do I need to vacuum? Hell, no. Do I need to fold that laundry over there (yes, you laundry, don't think I don't see you staring me down, getin' all wrinkly and such...you can deal.)? Hell, no. Do I NEED to be stressing over a tutu, for Christ's sake? Hell, no. No one cares. No bad juju is going to happen in 2013 just because I did not do the damn laundry on the last frickn' day of 2012.
I've had a good year. I started running, I wrote and finished a novel, I've been published, I made some AMAZING new friends. It all happened because I focused more on what mattered to me and not what didn't.
So, if you're out there reading this, my advice to you is screw the laundry every now and then, eff the vacuuming, don't put pressure on yourself to make everything on your Pinterest board. It doesn't matter. Be true to yourself, relax more, make goals like:
- Paint your nails more (it forces you to sit still)
- Read more (also forcing you to sit still)
- Take time to take care of your miraculous body that you have been blessed with (get out and move it around, it likes that!)
- Hug and kiss the people you love (This year was full of loss and tragedy. Treasure those around you)
- Ask yourself, what will make me happy? And listen to yourself!
I wish you all good juju in 2013, dear reader, and I hope you will be better to yourself (I'm hoping the same for future me!) And if you don't make a list, you know what? It doesn't frickn' matter...
Your Favorite Mermaid