I love New Year’s Eve, but not for the partying and fireworks that mark the end of one year and beginning of a new year. I haven’t really seen a wild, indulgent party on New Year’s Eve since my daughter was born, really. It’s the one night of the year when babysitting help is impossible to find and even loving relatives don’t oblige since they usually have a celebration of some kind to go to. So I’ve usually welcomed another year in the quiet of my home, watching the countdown on television at midnight and to my surprise have at times enjoyed it more than I did the wild partying in my motherless days. But that’s not the reason I love New Year’s Eve.
I love it because it’s a day I use to reflect on the year just past and find that I am grateful for all the experiences, even the crappy ones. The fact that I made it through to 31 December means I’ve survived and yes even thrived through another year. I look back on the laughter, the loving moments with family, the fights with family, the meaningful times with friends, the successes and failures of projects I’ve undertaken and the pure will that has at times gotten me through another day and I realize that there’s so much to be grateful for and so many blessings, both big and small to experience in just one day. When I speak to family and friends as the year comes to a close, most of the conversations start or end with “next year…” which is usually followed by a goal, dream or wish. And in those two words alone is a feeling of hope for something better. The fact that year after year we put out thoughts and desires of what we hope for in the next year, despite the challenges and missed goals of the previous year, fills me with gladness. As long as we have hope, we have possibility to achieve anything. And that’s why I love New Year’s Eve so much. For me it is a day of hope.