What is it about the ending of one year and the start of a fresh one that fills so many people with immeasurable amounts of hope?
I’ll tell you what it is: it’s a line in the sands of time that allows us to mark where the conclusion of one trip around sun ends and another begins. A new year allows us to pause – even though time itself never does. Once a year we look back and leap forward and resolve to work harder, eat better, to live life to the full.
We need this pause, too. Without it life as we know it would continue day in and out as it does – which would be okay (we are inherently creatures of habit). But by taking the time to reflect on where we’ve been we are better able to strengthen our resolve to look forward.
We take note of our successes and our failures and plan on how to build on them both. We cry tears for the loved ones lost and focus on the people we’ve still got. We spend time simply – we think.
For me, I think about how the decisions I’ve made in life have led me to where I am today. I am far, far away from the people and places that shaped me – my country, my family and childhood friends. I miss them all more than usual around the holidays and New Year’s always brings a more introspective version of me to the fore.
Last year was a rough one. We lost my husband’s mother, one of his best mates and his Uncle in the span of 16 weeks. With so much grief around, our relationship and others in our lives were strained. Hell, just getting out of bed without feeling heavy or wanting to sob was hard – let along attempting to strengthen connections with others. BUT – we got through it. We worked bloody hard and we’re smiling again. I am hoping 2012 brings us good fortune and no more death. That would be my ideal year.
I have also been thinking in the “now” a lot more. I used to miss home every second of every day – but living in the now has opened me up to complete happiness here in my adopted homeland. I well up with pride now and say “we” when referring to Kiwis. I guess this means I’ve finally reached the epitome of a world citizen – yes, I’ve got roots and wings and am proud of both.
For me, the beginning of this New Year marks a new chapter in the novel of my life. I am taking stock of what I’ve done, where I’ve been, who has taught me and what I’ve learned in the past year. I’ve written down my own personal and professional goals. I’ve also etched them into the very fibre of my being.
A lot of people set their sights high when it comes to their New Year’s Resolutions. I do, too. My resolutions, however, aren’t your stock-standard ones. Sure we all want to eat better (and less), exercise more and balance out work and home life – but I want more than just this.
In 2012, I am going to work on learning something new about someone every day. This someone might be my Mom, my new sister-in-law, my mates or even my husband. It’s funny how often we go through the motions with the people we love the most. I want to connect more to them. I want to hear their stories and learn how to be thankful for every moment.
Tonight my little family (Hubby, 5yr old daughter and I) went on a mission around Auckland to find something new and exciting to do. We drove for 3 hours – everything’s closed on January 1st – and ended up having an amazing Thai Food dinner in a gorgeous hidden restaurant we would have never known existed otherwise.
When the waitress poured our water, we all looked at each other and Miss5 chimed up with:
“What a superb way to spend our New Year’s as a family! Cheers!”
With smiles on our lips we drank to the year ahead.
So roll on, 2012. Momma Cass has set the bar high. Come along with me for the ride – you’re bound to laugh, live and love all along the way.