Let's Hope It's a Good One...
When I was growing up, cocooned in the embrace of the still-wild Ouachita's and steeped in traditional folklore, there were certain New Year's traditions that you did not dare miss.
1. Sweep Out The Old Year
As soon as possible on the new year, sweep your house and sweep all the "old" or "bad" luck outside. Of course, dirt goes out too, and those little fuzzballs that follow brooms around. But the basic idea was to get rid of any negative feelings, memories, energy, etc.
This was in direct opposition to the other 364 days of the year, when you were not supposed to sweep your floor and then sweep the dirt out the door, for fear of sweeping out good luck and happiness as well. You just do it on New Years.
2. Don't Start a Project on New Year's Eve.
It is okay to start one and not finish it before New Year's Eve, but starting one on that day and then not being able to finish it before the new year means having a difficult time finishing projects throughout the whole year.
Also, some people were a little more grim and stated that if you left a project undone in the last year, you would not be able to finish it in the new one...usually because of death or some kind of painful condition. (folk lore is a bit macabre.)
3. Peas and Jowl
Hardly on any trendy "foodie" list, but black-eyed peas and a chunk of hog jowl is the thing to make on New Years. Eating them brings prosperity throughout the year.
Not really a sacrifice for me, since I love them. But I have seen some people pretty appalled by the dish. (Jowl is not the most attractive thing to look at, I admit.)
4. Taking Down the Tree
I've seen this argued both ways. Either you are supposed to take down the tree (and outside if it's a live tree) before the new year, or it will be bad luck. Other's say it is good luck to leave it until after the first.
I left it up last year, and well...2016 was pretty uncool. So this year it came down!
5. Do Something You Love
My favorite! This means spending the first day of the year doing things you want to be doing for the whole year. (Positive stuff!)
For me, it means drawing ( I will be designing more bookmarks like the ones above. In fact, I'm doing one right now!), writing, adding to this website, doing something that will help grow my business, reading something, making someone laugh or smile, spending time with my family, cuddling my baby girls, and giving back to others in some way.
But I Won't Do That.
Things I won't do today? I won't read the news, go on Facebook, listen to anything negative, clean the house (got it all done yesterday!), or get into any sort of situation or activity that could be stressful or frustrating.
I try to make the personal aspect of it simple: Learn something, read something, write something, draw something, do something kind.
I'm excited (and nervous) about the new year. It's a whole new chapter waiting to be written. And gosh, I hope we all get good parts in the story.
Happy New Year's to You All!