Happy New Year !!

Contributed by Robin Jones

It’s New Year’s Eve! As a child I couldn’t wait to see if I could stay awake long enough to celebrate the turning of the clock from 11:59 pm to 12:00 am. I would always have 1 party popper left over from the 4th of July that I could pull the string on should I make it to midnight. But what usually occurred was that I would pull it the following morning when I awoke on the couch. As a teen, I never had to try to stay awake, for midnight was a part of my normal waking hours. Now, as an adult, I find the struggle to stay awake until midnight to be as challenging as when I was a child. The only difference now is that I go to bed knowing that the New Year will happen regardless if I am awake to herald it in (and I can never remember to save a party popper).

There is something wonderful about the New Year though. Many of us find a new drive within ourselves to be kinder, to be more gentle with others. Maybe we get the urge to finally plan those vacations we get too busy to take. We look at spa memberships and run to town to buy those workout clothes that began hitting the shelves on December 26th.   Maybe we decide to buckle down and take financial strides to pay off a mortgage, a car, or a loan that has hung over our heads. Whatever it is, it seems we make some resolution or another. Maybe the thought that we can make change within ourselves or our environment gives us hope?  I am reminded of how vivid Y2K is in my memory.  It seems as though it was just a couple of years ago but tonight it will be 16 years since that moment. Life is moving at warp speed! I personally am working to slow my world down, to enjoy more quiet moments and take life from a rabbits pace to somewhere between a turtle and a lazy house cat.

I have always been intrigued at how people view, celebrate, and welcome in the New Year. I came across an interesting story in Business Insider this morning about the strange and unusual ways people celebrate the New Year ( http://www.businessinsider.com/new-years-rituals-around-the-world-2014-12 ) Whether it is eating beans on New Year’s Eve – to bring luck, or burning effigies of your enemies at midnight, if it’s eating up to 12 meals that night, or hiding mistletoe under your pillow to attract a husband. Which ever way that  you and your culture celebrate, I wish you the happiest of New Year’s. I hope in 2016 you will be healthy and happy, prosperous and blessed. If you are a resolution maker, I wish you the best to stick them out and look back in a year’s time and see that you have reaped the fruits of those efforts. If you need encouragement seek me out, hopefully I will be the one moving really slow in a fast paced world!

Happy New Year!

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