Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Bringing in a New Year

photo by Micha L. Reiser, permission details here

New Year's has to be one of my favorites. I love the idea of opening a new chapter with new goals and a new outlook full of hope. It's quite refreshing. Granted, you could choose to do this any day of the year. There's just something about starting the calendar over that says, "Clean slate. Go for it."

I could use one this year. After only five months in New York, I'm trying to get out. Don't get me wrong, there are many fantastic things about the city. And if you haven't visited Brooklyn, you're really missing out. Do it. But life in NYC is missing so much that I find important. So why am I paying more than most people's house payments to live there? You tell me.

Now I am working on clearing my slate. I left my job in NY a month and half ago. (It took a lot of courage, but it felt so good to take control and get out. It was just working out terribly, details not included. In the end, I'm very proud of myself.) My apartment is up on Craigslist, and I am trying to prepare myself mentally for the parental move-in. I need to recuperate while I look for something truly full-time, and I am lucky enough to have parents who love and support me, who are willing to let me stay with them while I get my feet on the ground. Come on, Recession. Go away, already!

</personal tangent>

Besides all of this, I love mixing up traditions from different countries on New Year's. I readily welcome any extra luck it will bring. Here are a few tricks I may try:
  • Eat 12 grapes at midnight, and make a wish on each one - one for every stroke of the clock, and one for every month of the new year. Only problem is, how will I be kissed with 12 grapes in my mouth?? - Spain
  • Throw old dishes at all of my friends' houses. You're welcome!! - Denmark
  • Pour molten lead into water and interpret the shape it makes, a fortune-telling technique called Bleigiessen. Results shown in above photo. - Germany
  • Physically clean and de-clutter my living space. - Multiple countries
  • Wear yellow underwear. Sounds weird, but it's said this will attract positive energy in the new year! - Ecuador
  • Bang on pots and pans to chase evil spirits away. - Iran
  • Or I could just leave the doors and windows open to let them out. - China
  • OR, I could open the back door at the first stroke of midnight, letting out the old year and its bad luck, and open the front door on the twelfth stroke to let in the new year and its luck. - Wales
  • Cook myself a feast of luckiness:
  • Ring in the year with laughter. - Japan
But most importantly, I will be wishing my friends and family love, health, happiness, and prosperity in the coming year, and I will be missing those of you I can't be with. I'm entering the second decade of the new millennium with very few regrets, and I'm excited about what's to come. Let's kick it off with a bang! Happy New Year to all!