I come from a FOB-ish (Fresh Off the Boat) family- we’re first generation Americans who eat slightly strange food filled with garlic, onions and herring, and yes, I was one of those kids that went over the top dressing up for picture-day in elementary school. And in case I haven’t made my case clear, have you seen my last name? Like I said, fresh off the freaking boat. These are all elements of life that I’ve slowly but surely come to accept and adore about my identity. And around this time of year, one additional factor tends to be especially clear- New Year’s is the most important holiday of the year in my family.
Blame it on the Soviet Union repressing religious celebrations or Europeans just looking for any excuse to celebrate, but in our house growing up, New Year’s took weeks of preparation. And now in my adulthood (is that what this is called?) I’ve added a few other traditions to our typical repertoire.
Indulge me, and let me tell you all the reasons New Year’s is simply the best holiday there ever was:
A holiday that doesn’t care what your religion is
New Year’s doesn’t care which God(s) you may or may not believe in, or how active or inactive you are in any organized religion or chosen form of spiritually- this celebration applies to everyone; it’s as inclusive as it gets.
A holiday to reflect on the past
Self-reflection and introspection are powerful practices, and although you can do them on a daily basis, I find it’s nice to sit down in front of a journal once a year and do a sort of year-in-review; think through what worked, what didn’t work, what the triumphs and pitfalls were. We’re all busy, days roll into months that roll into years, and without a set time to stop and reflect, we could just be moving through a motion of habits instead of….
A holiday to plan for the future
After I wrap up introspection, I like to move into journaling or thinking through what I hope for in the year ahead. I try to keep my list a nice mix between completely attainable and completely dreamland-esque. The word “goals” makes me think of the required goal-setting so many of us were forced to do in classrooms and at work- but this is different. This is just a simple way of putting your intentions out there into the universe, of thinking through where it is that you want to put your energy.
A time that brings the world together
I love watching the news all day on new years eve- for those of us in North America, it means watching nearly all the rest of the world celebrate the new year before we even eat lunch that day. My personal favorite thing to see is the heartfelt embraces and the genuine love displayed between families, lovers, and friends. On this day, I’m usually full of hope that there is a chance that someday, we can learn to live in peace with one another.
So here’s to 2016: may it be full of health, abundance in all forms, growth and adventure and plenty of belly laughs.
Cheers, my friends; happy new years!
Also by Irina: 7 Reasons Meditation is Easy
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