New Year’s Eve . . . Other than in my younger years, when I liked to celebrate on New Year’s and drink, I’ve never been a fan. My sister died on New Year’s Eve. And as I mention in my book, after my husband died, I found New Year’s brutally painful. I couldn’t imagine moving into a new year without him. I wanted to go back in life, not forward. And with each passing New Year’s, I felt as if I was getting farther away from him.
I’m now used to moving through New Year’s without him. But I’m still not a fan of New Year’s. I enjoy the holiday season, when life slows down and people focus more on family, sharing, and giving. I enjoy the festivities and decorations that occur in December. Plus, traffic slows down (in Denver) during the holiday week. But come January 1, society goes back into high-productivity mode. Making profits becomes more important, and the pace of life picks back up. Traffic becomes unbearable again.
Plus, with the new year, there is extra pressure to do more and be better—lose weight, exercise more, earn more income, etc. I rarely set intentions or goals any more. I’ve had too many years when I did that, and then felt disappointed when I didn’t fulfill them. I recognize that the new year provides a perfect starting point, and I understand why we set goals and intentions during this time. I just wish we continued to focus on what really matters—being kind to others, spending time with loved ones, slowing down a bit, and enjoying life—rather than killing ourselves to keep a fast-paced lifestyle.
You probably disagree with me; I know most people are excited for a new year and new start. If that’s you, I wish you a happy new year. I hope 2020 is everything you want it to be. And if you’re grieving this New Year’s, and feel the way I did at the start of my grieving journey, I wish you peace. As my friend reminded me on my first New Year’s without my husband, we’re just moving into a new day like any other day. That helped me not feel so overwhelmed about moving into a new year without my loved one.