Happy New Year!
Happy New Year! May your year be abundantly happy, healthy, and rich in beautiful moments.
Fireworks mark the occasion down here. Neighbors begin firing them off in the early evening hours and continue to ramp up the fire power as the night progresses ever so slowly towards midnight. As we closed 2017 and opened the first page of 2018 it sounded like a war zone in the neighborhood surrounding our house, although a bit subdued from previous New Year’s. Surprisingly, my little one slept through the entire barrage of cracks, pops, and whistles as we brought in the New Year.
Afterwards, toasting in 2018 with a glass of Prosecco, I reminisced with my husband about our New Year’s celebrations growing up. He was surprised to learn there were no fireworks, no heavy sulphur scent hanging in the air, as we brought in the new year. Instead, after our count down and celebration of bringing in the new year, we would open the windows, doors of the house and yell out, “Happy New Year!” while blowing on our party horns and whirling our noise makers.
We would gather as an extended family on New Year’s Day to celebrate the passing of one year and the beginning of the next. The men and boys watching countless football games on the TV with rabbit ear antennas; as my grandmother, my aunts and my mom would work together to prepare the meal. The children would be scattered throughout the house, playing, watching football, or “helping” in the kitchen. Our “Good Luck” meal of pork roast and sauerkraut would be prepared and devoured, with some coaxing of little ones to take “just one bite” of sauerkraut for good luck.
Fast forward to this year, we still gather as a family to celebrate the passing of last year and the beginning of this year. We will gather at my parent’s house and have our traditional New Year’s meal of pork and sauerkraut, with one small addition. Several years ago when my sister married a Texan, we had to include black-eyed peas, for good luck. He made them that first year and brought them for us to share. Since then, we have adopted the tradition and proudly make and serve Emeril Lagasse’s black-eyed peas. Frankly, some years we need all the luck we can get, and it doesn’t hurt to stack the deck a bit!
January 1st marks the beginning of a new year, filled with endless possibilities. We’ve eaten our good luck meals and are ready for whatever this year may bring. We all start with fresh resolutions and plans for our year ahead. 365 days, 365 blank pages… 12 chapters waiting to be written, completely and totally up to each of us to decide what is on those pages. 2018 can be anything we make it out to be. It is ours to write, ours to create and fashion.
We use January 1st as a starting block, a set time when everyone is motivated and pushing themselves to meet their newly written goals. Gyms become fuller, health books are in demand, the grocery stores are full of shoppers searching for healthier options, storage boxes are on sale. We look across aisles as others are searching for the same items, the same newest health book, the latest organization guru article. We are connected, if only for a brief moment, as we realize each of us is working towards the same ultimate goal, our New Year’s Resolution. In January, everyone starts out in the same place. By February some are still in that same place, while others have moved ahead, working closer to meet their goals. Where will you be? What will you do to become one of those that have moved ahead? If you get stuck, have you thought about how you will regain your momentum?
Jon Gordon’s book, One Word (Amazon & Barnes & Noble) encourages readers to choose one single word to bring focus to their year. I had a difficult time choosing one word, but after several days of thought, I’ve decided. My one word this year will be Wellness. Resolution number 1, to focus on my wellness, adopting healthier habits by working out more, consuming healthier foods, taking better care of myself (I’m a mom, I tend to put myself last). Resolution #2, take time to nurture my spiritual being as well as my physical. Attend church, follow a devotional, take time for prayer. Resolution #3, do a bit of reorganizing and cleaning out the house, this will bring Wellness to my mind as I declutter and detoxify. Resolution #4, help enhance the wellness of others. Wellness also includes being financially well which leads us into Resolution #5, to help my husband build and expand his business as well as my own. One word. Who knew that just one word could encompass so many ideas. It has the ability to pinpoint your energy, and bring everything into crystal clear focus. What will your one word be this year?
Whatever resolutions you have made, I wish you the best of luck. I wish you the continued motivation to accomplish whatever it is you have set forth in motion. I wish you the confidence, the desire, the perseverance, and the strength to stick with it and get to the finish line. Remember to take time for reflection. Roadblocks and challenges are inevitable, prepare for them, know in advance how you will traverse them with grace and keep your eye on your goals. May these 365 days be the best yet! Get out there and start filling in the pages of 2018, all it takes is One Word.