Thursday, January 3, 2013

Dear New Year


Dear New Year,

You are a blank slate, a fresh start, and a new journey.  Excitement and anticipation mark your arrival.  We celebrate you with parties and champagne.

What a difference a few weeks--or a few days, for that matter--makes!  The end of a year usually denotes a marathon of holiday festivities that turn into a whirlwind of traditions and obligations.  No doubt we look forward to family gatherings and lots of delectable food, but once the wrapping paper is ripped, crumbled, and tossed on the floor, and home cooked dinners are but platefuls of leftover grease and crumbs, we are left with that inevitable let-down just after the celebrations end.  The last few days of the last month of the year drag, and we can't wait for the year to be just over. 

Fear not.  The faint light at the end of the tunnel is named New Year, and she is full of promises.  We welcome her with glittery necklaces, noisy party blowers, shiny paper hats, all sorts of Mardi-Gras-esque costumes and masks, fireworks, balloon drops, and colorful confetti.  We watch the countdown on TV; we wish each other Happy New Year on social media; and we genuinely look forward to Peace, Love, and Happiness inside the squares and sheets of a brand new calendar. 

I didn't do Bubbly on New Year's Eve.  I watched the second hand tick into midnight with a glass of red and a small bowl of smoked almonds.  At the end of the countdown, I stole my Celebratory New Year Smooch from across the bed, which was followed shortly thereafter by the pitter-patter sound of little feet sleep-walking running into my room.  2013 is here, and the most important Peeps in my life are all under our roof, sleeping and snoring, safe and sound.  Lights out soon--it will be a brand new year in the morning.

As superstition would have it, it is bad luck to clean the house on New Year's Day.  So instead of my regularly scheduled cleaning, we went out for a relaxing day of brunch and shopping.  I almost bought a pair of skinny jeans on New Year's Day, but good thing my Regular Day sense talked me out of it.  New Year does not mean this Old Body can do New Fashion.  I came home with a pair of good ol' all purpose boot cut black jeans.

New pants for the new year.  Old style for my old rear. 

On the second day of the new year, I cleaned the heck out of half of my house.  Normally, I detest cleaning.  With a passion.  But yesterday, I went after every corner of every surface.  I suctioned an enormous amount of dust from under all the beds and in between bundles of electronic cords smashed up against the walls.  I got every growth of mold in the tiny crack between the edges of the condensation-pooled windows.  I obliterated all life of mildew and soap scum in the bathrooms.  I was on a rampage.  And it felt good.

I wanted a clean slate.  I wanted to eradicate all traces of grime as if they were the bitter aftertaste of 2012's sorrows.  I wanted to exorcise all past demons the way I expelled the contents of my vacuum cleaner.  I wanted to bleach away the fungus that invaded the human spirit in the form of unspeakable crimes throughout the world.  I wanted to start over.  And it all begins with a blank canvas.

Just last week the hours were dragging.  I looked at my messy home and could not bring myself to touch a Swiffer duster.  This week, I actually felt good about being sore from cleaning my house.  You see what a difference a few weeks or even a few days can make?  Now all I need to do is bottle this New Energy for later this year. 

Or next week.  When I have to clean the other half of my house.  

But I'll be ahead of the game in the cleaning department for Chinese New Year--yay!

In all seriousness, the new year gives me an exuberant feeling.  It shouts freshness, vigor, and a new dawn.  I have a good feeling about this year, since I'm partial to odd numbers (yes, you can think me odd for that), and I'm turning the Big-Four-Zero.  Lots to look forward to.  And lots to accomplish. 

So, Dear New Year, because you come to us like a babe at birth in all its pure nakedness, it is up to us what we do with you.  We can cherish you, nourish you, and treat you the way we would want the world to be for our children: full of life, love, and laughter.  You are our blank canvas, and we hold the paintbrushes.

Happy New Year, friends!

Sincerely,
Me

16 comments:

  1. Happy New Year! My resolution? To clean up & organize this house!

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    1. Hi, Asianmommy! Happy New Year to you, too! I hope your family had a wonderful holiday break. Yes, the organizing is on my 2013 to-do list, too!

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  2. I never thought of the new year as a clean slate like so many do. No wonder I feel like I'm in the middle of a pile up! lol I'm glad you told us of your superstition because i will definitely use it not to clean on the first of the year. When a new year comes I wonder what is in store? Will there be any quiet? Will there be more laughter or tears, more chaos or order, who knows! I feel like i've been trekking along on this long journey and I've come to another fork in the road! :)

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    1. Well, Helen, it's really not *my* superstition. I just think this one to follow for my own benefit!! :) You, my friend, will have a LOT in store for this new year, with your bundle arriving. You're answering your own questions already--there will be more laughter and tears, more chaos and order, and more noise and quiet. It will be fabulous! Happy New Year!!

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  3. "You are our blank canvas, and we hold the paintbrushes".

    I love that so much.

    You have such a positive state of mind here, Sandra, and it is so bright and seeping through your letters and hopefully, hopefully, I can soak up some of this.

    Also, I too was unaware of the no cleaning on New Year's Day superstition and I am so glad to know this, because I was feeling so guilty for being lazy on the 1st...but now? Now I am all like "well of course I didn't clean anything, I wouldn't want to bring bad luck to this house!" :-)
    xoxo

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    1. Thank you, Kim! This positive state of mind you speak of? It wasn't all there when New Year was arriving. But somehow through the writing of this post and the purging of the house dirt, it came together and came to me. This is the part of discovery in writing that I have been thriving on for a while now. I'm learning from the process of writing, and taking from it what positive I can out of the ordinary of the world. It can be beautiful if I choose to see beauty in things.

      As for the superstition, I knew of it in the Chinese culture. I was not, however, aware of its existence in the western culture. So when I Googled it, and it did not explicitly specify a culture, I took it and ran. That's why I said I'd be ahead of the game for CNY!

      Thank you so much for your words, Kim. I cherish them dearly. Happy New Year!

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  4. Oh thank goodness I didn't bring on any bad luck...I didn't clean on New Year's. I haven't cleaned since...well, never mind.

    I need to do so much with the house, but it hasn't topped my priorities yet. Besides, I'd rather read blogs about people being productive than being productive myself :)

    We told the kids they could stay up til midnight. My older son fell asleep at 10pm and we peeled our younger son off the ceiling at 12:10AM. He was asleep in five minutes and slept til after 9 the next morning!

    I didn't know you were going to be 40 this year...me too. Not sure how I feel about that yet. I have half a year to decide.

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    1. Isn't it a wonderful superstition? So much more meaningful than, say, a broken mirror or a black cat?

      I have my own mental list of things to do for 2013, and I think that is going to evolve into another post. :)

      I laughed out-loud when you said you had to peel your son off the ceiling... My kids would not last until midnight. I'd be in trouble the day they do.

      So I may be slightly older than you. I have just a little less than half a year to go. I'm actually embracing this bday quite a bit. It will be meaningful, and hopefully, with some celebratin'! Happy New Year, Janna!

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  5. Lovely, my friend, just lovely. I took it one step further and haven't just been cleaning but also rearranging and organizing our home. It somehow feels fresh and new and I love it!!! Happy New Year!!!!

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    1. Happy New Year to you, too, Susi! Kudos to you--I need some of your organizing spirit for my house, too! There so much I need to do aside from all the cleaning. You've inspired me! Hope to report back soon!

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  6. Happy new year, Sandra. Good call on having fun and doing something fun on the first day of the year. You can look back and say you enjoyed yourself and not labored cleaning the house on new year's day. There will always be days for house cleaning but new year's day is for something special.

    Like you, we did not celebrate new year's day. It just came and went. How unlike the new year's eve I always had in the Philippines where it would be noisy and festive. :-)

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    1. Imelda, that's the same way I feel about NY here. Back home, it is always so very festive, but here, both January 1st and the lunar new year just seem like normal everyday days. I guess it's important to be with family, so we do cherish that. We need to find more ways to be festive. DH planned a trip to the skating rink for the kiddos on NYE; we watched a balloon drop and celebrated with party blowers and hats. So there's that. Have a great week!

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  7. Why is it unlucky to clean new year's day? It's so funny that you liked cleaning on Jan 2. My house is as dirty as it was Dec 31. No worries though I did dust...happy new year!

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    1. Hi, Lisa! At least with Chinese traditions, sweeping on NYD means sweeping away all your good fortunes. Western superstition (according to google) seems to be on the same wavelength; I just didn't know it existed here, too. But I'll take it any day if I can postpone my chores! Happy New Year to you, too!

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  8. Darn! I'll have to remember not to clean on New Years Day next year! haha! I do like this post. It's very true. A new year is a new journey. A new date in time. Another chance, another birthday to be grateful you're alive in...all good things :) Very positive energy (as Kim stated) <3

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    1. Thanks, Cassie! Sorry I'm so late in responding--we have germs going around our lovely home these days. I was so optimistic until we are now all sick... Hope the positive energy comes right back soon! I'm sure you don't mind the superstition, right? I'll try to remind you next year! LOL!

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