I suppose it's tradition to spend time at the end of a year (and start of another) reflecting upon the past and scoping out one's hopes for the future. I've always thought of it as a kind of mental and spiritual spring cleaning and an opportunity to put things in perspective. So, really, the same thing, I guess.
For a good friend of mine who passed away some years ago, New Year's Eve was to him more like the celebration we've come in America to know as Christmas - gifts are exchanged, revelries were experienced, and, too, a joyous opportunity to look forward to the year that is not yet upon us. His own unique set of life experiences made me often consider my own pattern of looking so much into the past that I rarely considered the future, and it has been something I've worked hard to shift. Still not there, yet, however.
So today I'm looking at my life from a few different perspectives: what friends, family and others need from me, what I need from myself, and also what my work requires from me. Have I been diligent in the past? What things can I improve upon to make my dedication more clear and more effective? Am I and are the people around me happy? Do I hope for good things in the world, and am I contributing to those good things?
2014 has felt like a bit of a weight - it's been a time for revelation, though in hindsight it feels as if much of that has been dark and sinister. However....
Revelation does not have to be necessarily foreboding or weighty - it is the uncovering, the bringing of things to light. Exposing oneself to the fresh air - though it may initially sting, it is infinitely more desirable than to be hidden and locked away, fearful of truth and the ability to act.
One of the things I did this year was to finish off a bottle of scotch whiskey that had been given to me by my aforementioned friend. I'd been carrying it with me for more than fifteen years, unwilling and unable to finish the last glasses of this yet delicious smelling spirit. I finished it this year, with friends, and we toasted to friends lost and dreams remaining, and we said goodbye to the past as we welcomed the yet-to-be.
For me, that was as much a symmetry to the new year as anything I could have imagined.
As for resolutions? They are to me as they ever are: Live. Breathe. Write. Create. Love. Do all of the things, and enjoy every moment of it.
Thank you, my friends, for coming along with me on this journey. There are pages left to write and to be read. May the universe grant us sufficient time to do so.