In regard to yule and Jul and tidings of joy, I may resemble a younger and dare I say, more stylish, Ebenezer Scrooge, shuffling along with bah humbugs and clinking of coin. But the idea of New Year and the promise it brings causes me to nearly wet my pants with excitement. Oh, it’s not for the parties, or the confetti, or the fireworks. It’s not for the midnight kiss or the anticipation of watching a giant disco ball drop in middle of Times Square. It’s not even for the champagne, though I like a glass of fizz as much as the next girl. No, I like New Year’s because it’s like the Queen Mother of make-overs. A global mulligan. A great, giant, universal do-over for those of us that have screwed up the previous year in ways big and small.
Who among us doesn’t relish the chance for a fresh start; the crisp, snapping sound of a new year whipping its youth and promise around the corner of a Cinderella evening? Who among us does not get giddy with the notion of starting over, taking another shot, putting the past behind us and marching forward? Only a fool would pass up the opportunity to have a moment in time to simultaneously reflect backward and look forward, to be given the opportunity to move forth with all that is positive while shedding the weight of the negative. I may be a Grinch, but no fool am I. Not as a general rule, anyway.
Ok, ok, I have a few quirks. I like things squared off and even, neat and tidy and boxed with a bow. I prefer even numbers. I’ll take o’clocks over half-pasts and quarter tos. I anticipate Mondays for their freshness and loathe Sundays for their retrospective-ness. I am a Virgo. I am prone to bouts of over-analytical anxiety. I am slightly neurotic, slightly claustrophobic and to boot, I am a writer; I live for signs and symbols and coincidence. Throw a little superstition in there, a little pagan ritual, a little fairy lore, and well, how can I not love the dawning of a new year? The only thing that would be better was if it was a millennium year and it fell on a Monday (in my head, the week begins on Monday). Midnight, new day, new week, new year. It’s like a OCD neurotic’s wet dream. Ahem…..
Yes, it is just another day. But! There is a freedom to the day that excites me. It is a day for ushering out the old, the moldy, the withering. It is a day for welcoming the fresh, the new, the promising. In the small space between saying adieu, adieu to you and you and you, you are encouraged to be still and silent for a moment of contemplation. There is nothing more appealing to me than a blank slate, a tabula rasa of symbolic possibility that the new year brings with it. It is ripe with auspiciousness. It’s a brand new notebook just waiting to be filled with ideas. The possibilities are endless, the world is your oyster, shooting for the moon seems doable for those few moments. Things will get DONE in the new year.
The last week or two (or three) of the year is a time meant for celebration. Weeks of heavy-duty consumption, in all forms. Weeks of excuses and putting off, of hanging out, and letting go, of sweeping chores and responsibility, day to day-ness under the rug for a while. But with twelve strokes of the clock, it is time to start fresh; time to roll up those shirt sleeves, brush off the cobwebs, grab the world by the balls and make it happen.
I am too much of a symbol hound to pass up the opportunity. There before me, in all its glorious obviousness, is the chance to fill up my very own crisp notebook with ideas and thoughts and lists. Though I never write out formal resolutions, there are usually a dozen or so floating around in my head, from the most mundane (must wear retainer more regularly) to the loftiest of lofty (must finish the novel).
If you are anything like me, knowing that moment of change is coming, you do your best to out eat, out drink, out lazy-slob yourself in the weeks leading up to New Year’s Eve, as if on that magical stroke of midnight all the chocolate and wine and processed snack food will disappear from your cupboards—and your waistline—with a poof of smoke. So too much wine has been purchased and imbibed. Too many bags of chips and cheese doodles, too many tins of Quality Street. The crumb trail of snack food and chocolate wrappers is snaking across the house. The best laid exercise plans were shelved and the lettuce passed wilting and is well on its way to rotting in the bottom of the crisper.
Despite my proclivity to veer toward a blue Christmas, we have had a lovely holiday season. We have had family and friends and mild Danish winter weather. We have had walks and parties and far too much food. We have had even more wine and more parties and a few bottles of champagne for good measure. And now I am ready to rock and roll.
Though they will be dragged kicking and screaming out of bed on Monday morning, the boys will head back to school, my husband to work, and I to normalcy. I have indulged so much this holiday season that I am actually looking forwarding to starting a diet on Monday. I am looking forward to putting on my performance sports pants and tramping through the Danish woodland with my fellow stompers for step ups and gossip. I am looking forward to mopping my floors and straightening out my throw pillows, washing the duvet covers and starting clean. Starting fresh.
It is after all, the dawning of a New Year and the possibilities are endless. At least until March.
What do you look forward to most in the new year?