Goodbye Old Year

A fireball sculpture by BVI artist Aragorn

I find that most people around here have a good idea of how they will be celebrating the end of the year well before Old Year’s Night. Maybe you’re going to church or to watch the fireworks at Trellis Bay or to Foxy’s legendary Old Year’s Night bash. As long as you celebrate safely, I say go nuts.

For those who don’t bother with celebrating, or anybody who wants an additional way to mark the turning of the year, I have some ideas.

  1. Do some journaling. The turning of the calendar year offers a chance to look back on the successes and shortcomings of the past 12 months. Whether you look at it through the lens of goals achieved, contributions to your community or industry, new skills acquired, adventures taken or passions pursued, taking stock on the old year will help you enter the new one with the right perspective.
  2. Inspiration check. Think hard about a time over the past 12 months when you felt the most inspired. Where were you? Who was around? What were you working on? Whether it’s a certain calling or just your favorite community of people, use what you find to maximize your levels of inspiration for 2019.
  3. Release what no longer serves you. This is a tradition I learned from my cousin, and one we do together when we get a chance. Write down all the things that have held you back in 2018. Maybe it’s a fixation on an old flame, an unhealthy habit, or a job that no longer suits you. Even if it’s just one thing, put it on paper. Then, light a fire and let the paper (safely!) burn to ashes. As it burns, focus on the paper and imagine that it is the thing you’ve written there. Move into 2019 lighter knowing you can release whatever it is not just symbolically, but in reality too.
  4. Make a rememberlutions jar. I learned this idea from Tracy Clayton, a writer whose work I love. Step one is to get a jar and decorate it in a way that makes you happy (in my case, it would be glitter, but maybe for you it’s National Geographic cutouts or song lyrics or puffy animal stickers). Put it someplace where you will see it often because step two is to fill it up. For all of 2019, write down awesome things that happen, little moments of joy, and anything else positive you know you want to remember. Put your moments, or rememberlutions, into the jar. When it’s almost 2020, dig in and reminisce about your year.

    What is everybody doing to ring in 2019, or what did you do? Feel free to let me know in the comments.

A version of this post first appeared in the Dec. 20 edition of the Limin Times.

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