In Suriname New Year’s Eve is called Old Year’s Day. Tradition has it that at noon all businesses close their doors and move outside where they set off rows of firecrackers in front of their shops. Firecrackers, displays, music, dancing, boozing and general partying go throughout the day. By around 8 or 9 p.m. the streets are deserted. People head home for prayer or quiet family time. At midnight the fireworks come out.
Contrast that with our Euro-American tradition of New Year’s Eve where the Old Year doesn’t have a name and is overlooked and all but forgotten before it’s gone. All eyes face front in anticipation of the New Year, (which my spell check only allows in Title Case). Meanwhile the old is already out to pasture, like an old horse.
Our celebration rituals reflect our thinking and we carry this mentality into the associated ritual of New Year’s resolutions. We look with great determination to what we want to do, be and accomplish. As if a tiny New Year’s goblin whispers “Darling, this list will be the new you. Last year was so 5 minutes ago. Start fresh, because this year it will all be different.”
Woa there friend. Not so fast. Let’s really send off that Old Year. The Winter Solstice is past and the days will get longer, but we are still in the dark time of year. This is the time of turning inward, of assessing where we have been and where we want to be. But to complete the inward journey, one more piece is often overlooked. Yes we need to know what we want to bring into the New Year, and we also need clarity and action on what we don’t want to bring with us.
Remember and celebrate your 09 accomplishments. But before you pull out the pencil and start with the proverbial resolves for 10, shed the old and release what held you back from fulfilling your 09 resolutions.
To change your New Year’s resolutions from a laundry list of soon overlooked wishes, become crystal clear on what no longer serves you. Release that – be it an attitude, a suffering, a grudge, a debt owed, a relationship or a belief.
If you were a computer I would suggest you free up space on your hard disc before you install your new program. Since you’re flesh and blood, and only sometimes function like a computer, I’ll say free yourself, put the saddle back on that old horse, get ‘er out of the pasture and ride with the wind at your back!