Holidays are important for many because it is a time stamp for significant events in people’s lives; especially New Year’s Eve. This day represents a figurative opportunity to start afresh and anew. Personally, I struggle a bit with the concept of the New Year. I have sat down time and time again, trying to figure out why?
Thinking back, I remember that every year growing up, my family and I had the tradition of going to the Annual New Year’s Eve Party at the Luera’s house. I have great memories playing with the other kids, laughing, and running around–while the adults enjoyed the festivities. One particular year was different though. My parents had no intention of taking me. Unbeknownst to me, they had invited my friend Fernando over to spend the night, leaving me at home, while they partied the night away. I was probably 11 years old, but I remember being so sad…I was “abandoned on New Year.” Frustrated, I had no intention of ringing in the New Year sitting at home. Nevertheless, there I was staring at the television, as the clock counted down the last minutes of the year. I regrettably watched the Dick Clark’s New Year’s Eve Special, as I imagined my parents and siblings having a great time at the party. Then my friend Fernando suggests, “when the clock strikes midnight, we should do a jumping hi-five for the New Year!”
And so it was…one of the most uneventful New Year’s Eve I had ever experienced.
Don’t misinterpret the idea that you can’t be snuggled up on your couch on New Year’s Eve doing nothing? There is absolutely nothing wrong with that at all.
I only shared that story because I have developed a certain expectation (at a young age) that the New Year is attached to GREAT expectations.
As I thumb through social media this morning, I realize how much it represents to others as well. In fact, we are on virtual overload with inspirational quotes of knowledge and philosophical wisdom. Pages and pages of encouraging thoughts and videos of “year in reviews” and “memories.”
And I sense a sort of whirlwind of “optimism” and “eccentricity” that is a bit overwhelming to the point that I am beginning to question its value and validity.
Consider this for a moment. We as a society have access to a plethora of knowledge and endless philosophies. Everywhere we turn, there are inspirations for self-improvement and personal growth. We have access to travel to exotic locations, and resources to visit elaborate restaurants, try new foods, go to boujee coffee houses, and take pictures at far away destinations with colorful landscapes. We can buy the best clothing, flashy jewelry, name brand purses, and have a countless amount of shoes. We have the best technology, the latest laptops, new cars, and expensive cell phones—and on and on the list goes.
But ask yourself this: Does any of it impress you anymore?
Then I realized that the child that used to get excited to open gifts on Christmas day and that kid who enjoyed celebrating the New Year is not the same person anymore.
While I believe that the excitement of great expectations for the New Year has not changed, what has changed is the expectation that I have for my life.
Some might even suggest that I am overthinking the New Year. But I don’t think so. The goal should simply be to avoid senselessly celebrating new beginnings or to start 2019 intoxicated with emotion.
We should want to step forward in life with a sober mind, thoughtful actions, and purposeful intentions.
We should want everything we do to be thought out. And while we can embrace the adventure of spontaneity—we must not depend on the winds of chance or wishful thinking.
I want to plants seeds of success in my life.
I want to think through the emotions for which I express.
I want to choose the words for which fall from my lips.
Life is too short to just to take emotional risks and chances, simply because “you only have one life to live.”
Yes that is true. But we should not live with no regret, because then we do things that leave us living in regret.
I say make “calculated risks” in your life.
Think through your decisions.
Care for your loved ones now—take them flowers, while their alive and not dead.
Take on that new job.
Go back to school.
Travel to new places.
Eat new foods.
Play with your children.
Laugh when you can.
Cry when you need too.
Ask for forgiveness.
Say “I love you,” if that’s what you feel.
But most importantly,
Own everything you do.
Be in control of your decisions.
Don’t worry about yesterday.
With that being said, I take a deep breath, gently kiss 2018 on the forehead, and with all my heart,
I say goodbye.
Happy New Year.
2019. Ready, Set, Go.