New Year’s Eve, people! New. Year’s. Eve! December 31 is always a complete mixture of emotions for me. There is excitement about prospects of the new year – new opportunities, new beginnings, new adventures. But there is a simultaneous twinge of sadness. I have always been terrible with goodbyes. Saying a farewell to a whole year of time is very difficult. All of a sudden, after mostly not giving much thought to the passing of each individual day, week, or month, time feels fleeting and the goodbye is conclusive and nostalgic. The touching moments from the year quickly stream through my memory as I squeeze my family tight knowing that this year, this beautiful year, is something that will not ever repeat itself. I find myself stubbornly wishing the ball would drop slower while eagerly anticipating the mark of January 1. Inevitably, time moves forward and then excitement strikes.
The elation of the new year lies in the new, untarnished possibilities and in the hopes and resolutions to better ourselves, our families, our lives. It’s difficult to find this same level of urgency for personal revolution at any other time unless you’re having a mortality check moment. This need for renewal certainly never happens en masse as is it does during this two-day transition from old to new year. I love hearing my loved ones’ hopes, upcoming plans, and decisions to make changes both big and small. So far, I haven’t heard anyone resolve to buy more superfluous stuff, consume more crap, spend less time focusing on people they care about, read less, yell more, take life for granted, and be less present. We perpetually strive to simplify our avalanche of clutter – both mental and physical – during this wake-up call of a new year and any of the aforementioned resolutions would be a contradiction to that sentiment of simplification and personal growth.
My biggest resolution for 2016 encompasses the quintessential new year’s hopes to be present, rid myself of excess, not take things or moments for granted. All of these hopes diverge into one main resolution to believe, just believe, and allow myself to be engulfed in magic. This thought came to me a few weeks ago when my daughter was giving a living room ballet performance while my son accompanied the dancing with a dramatized, operatic version of his own making. The dancer illustrated every detail of her costume and the set scenery as she twirled across the carpet nearly missing the coffee table. And then she said four simple words that struck me profoundly; “I’m wearing pointe shoes.”
Here I was sitting in the same spot for at least the hundredth time attentively watching the performance as always when I realized that I’m continuously being invited to believe in and reach a magical realm which I subconsciously choose not to enter. I sit on the periphery and lovingly watch the happenings inside, but I never fully enter. Yes, I play along. Yes, I pretend. Yes, I pay attention. But never have I really watched the dance while truly visualizing everything laid out before me. Never have I distanced myself from all of my mental distractions to see the pointe shoes on my barefooted dancer.
It’s not just about pretending with children. I have my ballet en pointe performance with operatic accompaniment and you have your own magic waiting – perhaps, it’s a new adventure unfolding, a new path in life, or a seemingly unattainable move. No matter the magic, 2016 is the year to start believing. The admission to this magical realm is free, but there is one stipulation for attendance; you must believe. Really, truly believe.
As the ball drops a year from now and I squeeze my people close, I want to close my eyes and see the magical moments which engulfed me and I hope you can close your eyes and witness the magic which you have created, too. Happy new year!