I have an aunt who won't do the dishes on New Year's Day, because she doesn't want to spend her year in drudgery. Given the state of her kitchen, that little piece of magic seems to be working.
But I wondered if I could turn that same energy into a force for good? I mean, somebody's gotta do the dishes. But what if I could make every New Year's Day an idealized miniversion of the year to come?
It's not a terribly original idea. Whether it's legumes, greens, or chocolate coins, most cultures invoke riches on New Year's Day as a way of laying out to the Universe, clearly and succinctly, what they'd like to have happen in the next cycle around the sun, thankyouverymuch.
So far, it seems to be working for me too.
Think about it. What would you like to have the next year? Not in terms of stuff or money, but in terms of you? What do you want to spend the next year of your life doing?
Do it today.
All of it, even if it’s just little, symbolic pieces. It’s a way for you to tell yourself, your family, and whatever higher power you believe is listening, “Hey! This! This is what matters to me.”
My to-do list for New Year's Day, 2011:
I will eat good food. Some of it rich, some of it very fresh, all of it designed to make me feel good about myself and happy in my body.
I will read some fiction. It doesn’t have to be new, maybe it’ll be a short story, or a passage from a book I know like an old friend. Just a reminder of the power and truth in story.
I will write something. I work on a script or a story, to strengthen my connection to the value of my work. This can be hard when, to the casual observer, your heart’s labor looks suspiciously similar to commenting on I Can Has Cheezburger?
I will be affectionate with my husband. Because hey, I like my marriage a lot. I want to nurture it and appreciate it. I want it to last not just this next year but for the rest of my life.
I will drink, but not too much. A glass of wine or an aperitif reminds me that there are more levels consciousness than just the alpha-achiever mode. However, I do NOT want to spend the next year with a headache, so moderation is in order.
I will meditate. I’m really good at going. Not so good at stopping. Developing a meditation practice has been on my list for a while, and a little NYD stillness lets me keep the faith.
I will exercise. Newsflash: I am not Mila Jovovich. And that’s okay. But this body is the only body I’m going to get. I need to make it feel good, keep it strong and capable. So exercise, but from a place of pleasure, not punishment.
I will call or write an old friend. Relationships sustain me, even when I’m being a grouchy hermit. People I love were incredibly supportive when I moved 2,000 miles away, and I want to nurture them, too.
Crazy list, I know. A full day, to create a full year, strung one after another to create a full life. That’s the goal, and I’m going to fail at some of it, but not failing means you aren’t trying anything worthwhile.
So. What are you going to do today?