[ Wrote January 1, but not posted until the second…important for reasons to be revealed!]
First and foremost, Happy New Year to everyone. I hope you brought in the New Year exactly how you wanted, with the people you wanted. I hope you were safe and happy and not about any foolishness–no drunk driving, drunk dialing, or drunken fights in the club, bar, parking lot, lobby, restaurant, street, car, house party, liquor store…or sober fighting either anywhere at any time.
Culturally, as an African-American, we have many beliefs surrounding the New Year. One is that you have to clean your house before the New Year. I don’t really know why; just to be clean and start fresh, I guess. A man has to be the first one to walk through your door in the New Year. Again, I have no idea why. You have to cook greens (collards, mustards, turnip…you know, the stuff that looks like leaves 🙂 (for prosperity), black eyed peas (for health), cabbage (money) (obviously, there’s a lot of hope/anticipation/preparation for more money. And a little health to, for good measure; gotta be healthy to spend the money.
Finally, last but not least, the myth is whatever you spend the first day of the New Year doing is what you’ll be doing all year. This can get tricky, because, if you have a job but aren’t working, you may or may not still have a job. I guess if you work on the first, you will not only be working all year, but you will have a job to work all year. You don’t want to clean on New Year’s because you’ll be cleaning all year, etc.
Mind you, these are all traditions. They don’t necessarily have any basis in reality, and since they are symbolic and not action oriented, people tend to be disappointed. I ate my black eyed peas, but I got diabetes this year. Well, if you didn’t eat right or exercise, yes you did. What did you expect? It’s not a magic talisman. I take all of these things as statements of intent. I plan on looking after my health and wealth. I plan on keeping a neat and orderly home. Whatever I spend my free day today doing is something I plan to spend time on throughout the year.
New Year’s Resolutions–I don’t make them. What I usually do is focus on a word that repesents an idea/philosophy of how I want to approach life in the New Year. So, the word for 2010 came to me nine weeks ago. A coworker sent around an email about wanting to start a challenge to lose weight/get healthy by New Year’s and wanted people to join her for….accountability.
Accountability is the word of the year! Accountability means: the quality or state of being accountable; especially : an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions <public officials lacking accountability> Now that we have the dictionary definition, here’s how this relates to my life.
I feels as if it is time for me to be more attentive to the things that God has given me, to be a better steward of the things that I have in order to: a) enhance the things I already have b) obtain a better quality of life c) aquire more, and d) not be in the same position next year, but in a better one. Honestly, no one likes living paycheck to paycheck, being fat, not achieving their goals, watching life slip away from you, but not everyone will acknowledge that they are the reason their life is the way it is and be responsible for changing the direction to the one they really desire. That’s what I’m trying to do this year. If I say my life sucks and this isn’t the way I’m meant to live, guess who has to change all of that? To that end, tomorrow I will list some specific goals.