Before you dive in, please read this.
In case you didn’t know this about me…. I am a New Years Eve baby.
Born December 31st, 1974 at 11:56am in Brooklyn, NYC
I wish I could tell you that I decided, of my own accord, to join the world that day but alas, as my mother recants, I am an enduced, C-Section baby.
*How much more exciting the story would be if I just happened to arrive on that day.
No such luck.
My mothers OB/GYN was going on vacation on 1/1/1975 and wanted to deliver me beforehand.
I know for years as a youngster, I thought it would be more exciting if I told people that I was born at 11:56PM instead of AM so I could get more attention. I actually did that for years, until it started to feel so very deceiving and untrue (and I also confirmed it with my mother that I was actually born in the AM)
Two big events on one day. Another year of living, and another year of life.
It wasn’t until a few days ago, driving home with my husband from our Christmas festivities with his family, that it HIT me… ANOTHER reason why this day is SO important, so SACRED to me, and I have been aching to sit down and write it out to you (well, also to myself) so that I could get this discovery OUT of me and somewhere I could take a better look at it (and also to discuss it with you too).
So here I am. I want to talk about the PARADOX between the event/energy /fact/ritual of December 31st being both my birth-day, and also a day of new hope and beginnings for SO many of us.
I would say 7 out of 10 people that hear that my birthday is on New Years Eve, usually say something about how that sucks. I am quick to correct their belief by sharing my enthusiasm in that…
I LOVE my birthday. I think being born on New Years Eve is the best day of the year to be born.
As I have grown up, I have had many opportunities to pontificate why I feel the way I do.
I think the beginning part of it has always been my mothers knowing the challenges that those born in a holiday season would have, always being lost in the Christmas holiday, the confusion between Christmas and birthday gifts, so she always made me feel really special on my birthday. It was like because I was born on that day gave us an additional reason to celebrate. I never felt slighted and was always pretty excited when December 31st came around again.
*Correction: The only REALLY stinky thing was my locker was never decorated all through school, as we were always off on Christmas vacation, and cause I was a winter baby, I could never have a pool party. I remember one year I waited until the summer to have a birthday party, just so I could have a pool party. 🙂
I LOVED that I spent my 21st birthday in Times Square watching the ball drop. I LOVED my 22nd birthday was spent dancing my heart out with some good friends after moving to Savannah,GA a few days earlier.
I love that I will always have a reason to CELEBRATE on my birthday.
Most people are happier on my birthday, they’re in a festive mood. There is this BUZZ in the air, the scent of a fancy dress and a glass of champagne, somewhere in the near future.
It’s like I can hear the sound of a party horn, being blown somewhere, and somehow that makes that it’s my birthday, just a tad bit more exciting.
Secondly (and most importantly, I believe) , I always looked forward to getting older.
I think it has something to do with being A Searcher, but I have always looked forward to getting another year older, almost giddy as each year passed, that I was settling into the time when I could use that inner “old soul wisdom” that I felt so strongly inside, instead of being seen as just a kid.
Even today, as I find myself turning 38 years old, one day from now, I feel that familiar tingle of excitement that I have accumulated a bit more experience and wisdom under my belt. I’ve always felt like a Sage, and I guess there is a part of me that has always wanted to look the part. (HMM, is that the reason why I’ve never been afraid of getting gray hair?)
I remember I was SO excited to turn 30. I was SO excited to experience what most people told me they experienced about how they REALLY got to know who they were in their 30’s.
I couldn’t WAIT.
As I’m sure you do on your birthday, you reflect on the past year, what you accomplished, how you might’ve felt defeated, and what you have to look forward to in the next 365 days of your life, on your birth-day. You make a wish, with eyes closed, as you blow out the candles on your birthday cake, sending into the ethers a vision for what the next year of life will bring.
Well I have that too.
I just get to do that on the same day that EVERYONE ELSE is doing something similar, as they look to find their word, find their resolution, search for what they want to change, as one year ticks into another.
Can you imagine how POWERFUL having both significant days happen on the SAME day could be for me?
*anyone born on this day, actually.
I actually get choked up when I think of how powerful a day it is for me. Can you imagine the energy, the hope, the excitement the significance being born on December 31st is?
I not only get a New YEAR… I get a new year of LIVING!
Deep breath in.
NEW YEARS EVE
I grew up watching Dick Clark on TV, staying up as late as I possibly could keep my eyes open, just so I could see the ball drop. I loved that my parents would have the neighbors over, and we could have a reason to be rambunctious an loud. Blowing those horns as loud as we could. Wearing fancy hats and having dad relent to making my sister and I his special “Chocolate milk” which was a glass of Kahlua and cream (heavy on the cream) that we could taste for just this special occasion.
As an earlier memory, I distinctively remember going to an evening mass on New Years Eve with my grandpa, where the church would smell so strongly of incense, as we welcomed the new year. How I miss that smell and my grandpa so much this time of year.
I love that it always ended up that everyone had to hug and kiss each other at midnight. How I loved an opportunity to be hugged and kissed by those that loved me most.
I remember that frustration I always had when I forgot to write the new years date on my school work for a few days, until I got used to it. An amusing frustration than anything else. *insert chuckle here, probably the same for you too, eh?
Nowadays, I love how everyone is talking about what their word is.
“What is your word for the new year?”
I don’t know when that practice became popular (maybe it always has and I wasn’t aware of it?), but I absolutely LOVE that for weeks prior to this date, so many of us are desperately searching to dive in underneath the surface to come up with one symbol of what we would like to accomplish as the ball drops and we enter a whole new year.
I’ve seen videos posted about it, blog posts written with it, and coaches talking about the importance of knowing what your word or phrase is going to be for the new year.
It’s not just a day to party, is it? It is really a time of reflection…. a symbol of another chance.
Let me say it again…
We are always SO quick to just keep going, that New Years Eve is just that… a SYMBOL. One moment in time created in order to give us the permission to SLOW DOWN, if only for ONE night…
(shoot, one MOMENT when the ball strikes twelve) Just for a second now, think back to that moment… doesn’t it seems like for that one moment, TIME seems to slow WAY down?
…. to reflect on where we are… in relation to where we want to be.
*Ah, a coaches dream.
It’s an unwritten permission slip to throw away the scribbles of the previous year, and start a new, clean fresh page, to begin again. (or, bring into the new year the things that ARE working for us. (BONUS!)
It’s a time to honor changes… births, deaths, and momentous moments of the past year, in order to make some room for new ones to come.
And then, in a flash, it’s over. It’s the new year and we’re quickly cleaning up the remains of the party, or for those in Times Square, the tedious process of cleaning all the streamers that fall from the sky as the ball drops, and we resume our lives with little significant changes to be seen.
That is… unless we remain vigilant and steadfast in our pursuits of our desires.
That’s where the gym jokes and the diet jokes come into play.
- Why are we unable to maintain that space… long enough to create a shift in our lives, our bodies, our dreams?
- Why is it the flush of a new year that gives us renewed enthusiasm, and swiftly, diminish as the days pass by?
It’s the answers to these questions that have me perpetually curious, as the Searcher I am.
Maybe they do for you too.
New Years Day is usually spent feeling conflicted. We WANT so desperately to get started with our pursuits of our resolutions.. our symbolic words.. but there is this part of us that is uncomfortable knowing that tomorrow, we will return back to our day to day. The shiny and the fantastical have now simmered down and what falls into place is this dull feeling of..
Now… I have to make it happen.
It’s why a lot of us get discouraged SO easily, right? WE are the only ones that can make it happen and there is a part of us that wished that it was as magical as the energy that New Years Eve holds, right?
We can do it, many of us WILL accomplish their new years goals, because of sheer will to make it so. For most of us, we have to hit bottom so that there is nowhere to go but up.
Enough is enough.
I know that this year, this, my 38th year…beginning on January 1st, 2013, I am in many ways in that place of Enough is Enough. Somehow the knowing inside me knows that I can no longer seek/long for/wish/resolve/declare the way I have done in the past.
Hoping and wishing (and working hard to make it so) is no longer working for me, and frankly, I cannot continue doing it the same way anymore.
I feel I’ve begun to cross over a threshold, into a new way of being. A test of faith as I have NEVER experienced before, I feel is upon me. Before this year, I was still striving. I had never felt like I arrived. What I wanted was still “Out there”.
I was still “In hope.”
“Seek and do not find”
Maybe some of you have that same experience?
Hoping this would happen, that this wouldn’t happen, and looking for it to happen by feeling the absence of it in my life.
This year, and with the blessing of what I’m learning as A Course student, I charged myself with being at peace what whatever comes near me or through me this next year.
My phrase, my practice for this year is NO MATTER WHAT.
NO MATTER WHAT happens, I am significant.
NO MATTER WHAT I see, I can choose to be at peace.
NO MATTER WHAT happens, I am already worth it.
The knowing that whatever happens “out there”, that I am already complete.
There is nothing to strive for… everything I have is inside me… now.
Do I have preferences? Oh Yes.
- I would prefer that this be the year that my husband and I get pregnant.
- I would prefer that my coaching business thrive to the point where I would not need to lean on the 9-5 as I have.
But the charge is to be at peace…. NO MATTER if that happens or not.
To be happy… NOW. To not let the lack of those accomplishments lessen my ability to feel that I am okay where I am.
In doing that… I almost automatically go to a place of happiness. And it feels really good.
I want to feel this way vs. how I’ve felt up to now which is angry and resentful (that I have not gotten pregnant yet) and sad (that I’m still relying on the 9-5 as my primary income)
This will be my practice, my mantra, my prayer in this new year… this new birth-year. To be OKAY and at peace with WHATEVER comes my way.
And to forgive myself when I fall back into hoping.
I know I will have ample opportunities to practice this, this year.
I am open to the opportunity to learn.
My wish for you in the new year is that you are at peace with wherever you are in your life.
With whether your goals manifest for you, or not.
That that doesn’t less the knowing that you are SO worth it. SO valid. SO loved.
And that nothing you do or accomplish (or happens to you) can or will EVER change that.
Happy New Year.
Happy Birthday (to me)
and THANK YOU for being a part of my journey.