To ring in the New Year some dear friends rented a large house in a tiny valley surrounded by gorgeous mountains and lots of clear blue sky, I was only too thrilled to get away from the city and the acidic smog that permeates the winter months. We laughed, chatted, played ping-pong, ate delicious food, played hilarious games, and in the hour before midnight built a small(ish) bonfire. Each person wrote a regret from 2013 on a piece of paper and ceremoniously let it be consumed in the flames. Some shared their regrets, others simply let them turn to ash. My regret was carrying too much anger about people and events I could not change. Over the last few months I’ve actually noticed this extra weight showing up on my face…my face looks very different than it did a year ago. More tired, sad eyes, dark bags underneath, and wrinkles that could not ever be called “laugh lines.” In fact, these days it’s kind of a shock when I see myself in the mirror, I hardly recognize the woman I’ve become. And I really don’t like it. This is something I’d like to change for 2014, to learn to let go and be happy. I’ll post my official resolutions next week, but that is an overall theme for me for this next year.
At midnight we lit enormous sky lanterns, whispered our wishes, and sent them floating into the dark black sky. The two dozen points of light were so gorgeous, the two dozen wishes of some of my dearest friends being sent out into the void. It was such a beautiful moment I actually started to cry.
The next day was celebrated with a breakfast of bacon–which in my opinion is the best way to start anything–and a pile of old movies. And list making. Always with the list making.
Burn the old, and bring the bacon. Seems like a great motto for 2014, yes?
Disclaimer: Someone is going to think I’m talking about burning elderly people. I am, emphatically, not promoting the incineration of octogenarians (or septuagenarians, or…40-somethings). Burn the old anger, the regrets, the hard times and the heartbreak, let it go up in smoke and flame and disappear. And then use that bonfire to cook some bacon; everything is better with bacon. I suppose this is kind of like turning lemons into lemonade, but without the possibility of getting squirted in the eye with citrus spray.
It amuses me that you consider 40-somethings to be elderly. ?
Well, you know, I will for at least 3 more years. And I didn’t ay “elderly”, I went with the much more blunt “old.” 😉
(Joke! Is joke, Boss!)
My smiley emote turned into a weird box, so hopefully you took my comment in jest. 😀
Of course! 🙂 <–smiley face
Bacon is a balm.
Absolutely. That Gilead guy could learn a thing or two from Bacon! 😉
I started 2014 with bacon too. Didn’t burn anything, but I’ll have to keep that in mind for next year. Seems like a really good way to try to put the past behind.
It was just scraps of paper (and a stack of letters from one girl), but it felt so good to physically get rid of those regrets and everything!
We held our first New Year’s bonfire this year, but I love the idea of burning the old stuff in light of the new year.
It was really quite therapeutic. Recommended! 🙂
I really like that idea of burning old things too, although I admit the thought of burning things gives me a small pause now. I suppose if I got the opportunity to choose the things I wanted to burn, I would be much happier about it. I may try it next year. There seems to be a sense of real catharsis in this. I could use this sort of release.
Definitley catharctic, and our bonfire was compeltely contained in a backyard firepit, the kind you can toss into the back of your truck and haul up to your rented-for-the-day cabin.
I’m also trying to let go of some of my more negative feelings in 2014. I hate that they have so much real estate in my life, ya know? Hugs to you and a wish that 2014 is renewing, cleansing, and happy.
Oh man, the negative-feeling-real estate has been occupying the top floor corner office in my head for FAAAAAR too long. I’ve made some pretty significant choices and changes to reduce that space for this coming year.
I’ve never really liked lemonade, so making lemons into lemonade has never really appealed. Burning regrets and using the fire to make bacon, on the other hand — that’s a practice I can get behind!
Ha! Yes, lemonade is still, at it’s core, just sour juice with too much sugar. Sounds more like a bandaid than fixing the problem at hand. Bacon, however. Bacon fixes everything. 😉
I think one of the hardest lessons to learn (and we all have to learn it in our own time) is that we cannot control what others do or say; we can merely control the way we react to them. It’s no small feat, but you sound like you’re committed to NOT letting others affect you in negative ways quite the way they have in the past. I hope you are able to do it and that it leads to happier times for you.
Me too! I know it’s a constant evolution and process, but I hope I am on the right track and working towards something far more positive.
Thanks for the encouragement!!