New Year’s Eve has never been a time to party for me. Over the years I have tried to avoid large parties like the plague. On occasion, I’ve been hired to sing on NYE, but, being a folk singer, generally they aren’t loud raucous events. If a party is had, usually it is with a small group of friends. Lately, it’s generally with a couple of friends who live nearby, and each year we have a long dinner at one house or the other. Usually we make it to midnight…..
Since I can remember, I’ve always taken advantage of New Year’s to take stock of my life — my successes and losses, accomplishments and plans. It seems that all the newspapers and media outlets in the world do this too. It’s a bit of the “cleaning of the files” before starting in on new activities, new promises, new experiences.
I’ve stopped making New Year’s resolutions. They don’t work. It’s just another way of deciding what needs to change in your life, but whether or not those things get changed has more to do with you and what you’re ready to change than any silly resolution written on a scrap of paper. I must say, I have lots of plans though – and some of them are in process already.
First of all, what I won’t be doing: This year I won’t be recording a new CD – I did that last year. I won’t be writing many new songs either, because I won’t be recording. I probably won’t be taking up yoga or become a vegetarian (the way we travel, the fewer restrictions, the better). I won’t be cleaning all the extra stuff out of my house (but maybe some of it), nor doing a major house renovation. I won’t be wishing I could be more creative, nor more beautiful. I won’t be investing in bottled water.
I do have ongoing resolutions though: try to minimize new plastic coming into my house, and recycle everything I can. Tread lightly on the earth. Work out regularly. Keep my hands busy and my brain active. Stop to watch the birds. Be quiet when I can. Eat my favourite things once in a while, and enjoy every bite. Drink tap water. Laugh. Pay attention. Listen. You know – all the good things. These are not new, and they don’t need me to write them down to remember them.
I’ll be busy with new quilts this year, and I have so many ideas that I can’t possibly do them all before I lose interest in them. That’s a good thing. It means the ones I do make will be the most important ones, not just the only ones I can think of. I have lots of new song ideas too, but the ones that float to the top of the pile when I’m writing are generally the ones that are the best.
I’ve been trying to finish off projects over the Christmas season to clear the decks for the new year. A knitted vest that got put aside when I rededicated myself to finishing off the 1/4″ hexagons during the spring tour. (HEX UPDATE: I’ve just put the final Colonial knot on the piece, now I’m going to start working on the finished edge – the end is in sight!) A whole bunch of knitted dishcloths, using up the tail ends of cotton yarn balls from before. The hand Mola piece that still needed some embroidery before I use it as a class sample for our cruise. I like to get these things over with so they aren’t hanging around. They are by no means all of my UFOs!!! The rest of them are hidden safely in the cupboard. Perhaps I’ll put people’s names on them so when I die they’ll have to finish them for me! lol
Soon all these little piles of stuff all over the house will be put away, as each project gets finished. John will be happy about that, I’m sure.
If I had to categorize this time of year, I guess it really would be a “clearing of the decks” in preparation for new things – new exciting projects and endeavours. For me, being creative means moving forward. Today, I’ll sandwich a new quilt that I just finished piecing yesterday for my brother. I’ll upload a picture when it’s photographable so you can see it. I’m very excited about it, and it’s an entirely different piece than I’ve ever done before. Who knows what I’ll do next? Something easy and traditional, or another “arty” work? I follow where my imagination leads.
How do you clear the decks to prepare for the new year? Do you have habits or superstitions that you do every year this time? Do you look ahead with anticipation or look back with satisfaction on a year well lived? I’d love to hear your stories.
However you spend your New Year’s Eve and NY day, I hope it will be without stress, and that you are content with your situation and surrounded by the joys of your life. At this point, the new year is nothing but possibilities. May you fill it up with excitement, accomplishment, and love. Happy New Year, everyone!