So… we start a new year, and, after eating and drinking myself into a coma on New Year’s Eve–plus surviving a three day hangover–it is time to get down to business and tackle resolutions for 2016.
However, before I started writing this post, I read the wishes I made before midnight last Thursday. As long as I can remember, my mother and I have had this tradition of writing 12 wishes on a piece of paper, eating 12 grapes–one for each wish–and keeping them all year in our wallets.
It is such a simple, but meaningful tradition, that even my husband adopted it. Even though he makes fun of my “Colombian Witchcraft,” as he calls it—he makes up stories about me killing a chicken and marking the front door with its blood–now he is the first one to start writing his wishes right before midnight.
After the ball drops and we are done toasting, kissing, hugging, and crying sometimes, I retrieve the piece of paper and read my past year’s wishes. This transports me back in time to the person I was a year ago and what I wanted from life then. Also, I can see the influence of alcohol in my handwriting; the phrases begin in Spanglish and end up in Hebrew-Hindu!
Regardless of what became a reality from the list of wishes, what I love the most is to read the constants in the equations: my husband, my son, my mother, my family, and my dearest friends. Life is so fragile that the fact that I have them all, one more year in my life, feels like I did get the wish of winning the Florida lotto.
That’s exactly what I felt on January 1st, when my husband received the sad news from a business associate telling him that his wife–who battled cancer for a year–had passed on New Year’s Eve. We went to the viewing on Saturday afternoon, and as soon as we stepped into the funeral room, I saw our friend consoling his little boy. I started crying like Mary Magdalene.
While I watched the projection of family pictures of this young woman, now at peace and surrounded by her loved ones, I thought of the meaning of my life up to this point in time. Once at home, I hugged my baby boy and my husband, I spent time with my mother, I hugged my doggies, and starting drafting this week’s column.
Three hundred and sixty-five days are enough time for me to evaluate my life and decide two things: first, what and who stays, and second, what and who goes. There are plenty of things that are completely out of my control; those I leave to God. But, the things that I can change to better myself, become my main target.
I am not an expert at this job called living, but I made a list of priorities a few years back when I got pregnant. I don’t know if it was the hormones or what, but suddenly I began looking at life as if I were a horse in a parade–with blinders on the sides so I don’t get side-tracked by the spectators, and keep my eyes on the horizon.
Therefore, yesterday was the day to throw away all the clutter in my life. By clutter I mean projects, ideas, feelings, and even people. There is just no reason for believing that if something didn’t work the first time, it will work a second try. That’s just me.
While other people keep, I simply throw away. I only have one life, and I am not going to let it slip away between the fingers of the people who waste their own lives searching for ways to hinder mine. Pity.
In addition, I collected my son’s toys—those that he chose to give away and that block the path when I am parking in the garage—along with my husband’s golf crap, that is always spread on the floor. (He will probably go crazy on Sunday looking for his lucky charms!)
The chance of change at the beginning of a new year is a short window. That’s why I began the year working out so I will stick to the routine for the rest of the year… well, at least for a couple of months. Happy New Year 2016!
Thanks for reading and sharing.