If you’re reading Passenger Conners, you have at least an inkling of what a transformative year 2010 has been for me: I’m traveling the world, unemployed by choice, homeless by plan and living a dream. It’s not been a bad year, I say. But I have no real desire to wax philosophic on my past 364. Today is, as it should be, about today.
A few traditions have made their way into my New Years Eves in the past few years, thanks in large part to inspiration from my friend, Shay, and I see no reason not to continue these little acts of happiness and closure while on the road. So from Saigon, a wee insight into the plan:
- Create a list of those things you want to, or need to, let go of in the upcoming year. Anything goes – anything you don’t want to take with you. Take said list, crumble it and burn, baby burn! We really do burn our lists in a symbolic “doing away” with the items. Of course, be careful and keep water nearby! This year, as I’m in a hotel in Saigon, I might just have a symbolic “ripping up.” I’d hate to be responsible for a hotel fire at the start of the new year.
- Write a “Gratitude List.” Here’s a list of everything – from the big to the minuscule – that I’ve been grateful for. This ranges from the gigantic (family and friends and health and a trip ’round the globe) to the tiny (wine and cheese nights on the balcony). Keep this list close by. Sit with it. Read it occasionally. It will cheer you, I promise.
- Create a list of “Things to Embrace” in the new year. Much as we all need to let go of a things, it would do us well to embrace a few things, I think. Like love, and kindness, writing more, travel more – whatever it may be. Keep this list even closer. Read often. It will inspire you, I promise.
And finally, in our last little act, we read over the gentle, brilliant Irish philosopher John O’Donohue’s blessing, “At the End of the Year.” I leave you, my friends, with his words and my wishes from the core of my heart for a happy 2011.
We bless this year for all we learned,
For all we loved and lost
And for the quiet way it brought us
Nearer to our invisible destination.
– John O’Donohue