I’ve been on the “meh, New Year’s an overrated holiday” bandwagon for years; I think I was already asleep when 2012 became 2013. But this year I went to a party hosted by some people I count myself very fortunate to have in my life, and joined their traditional celebration. At ten minutes to midnight we put aside all the nerdy card games and genre fiction discussion and everyone got a nice glass of bubbly to toast with (champagne or cider, depending), and then we each took turns saying a few words. People talked about what they’d accomplished in 2013, or what hardships they’d weathered; they talked about what they hoped to see or were working to accomplish in 2014. When each person finished we toasted them. By the time we’d finished the circle, we were in the new year. Just about as simple as ceremonies go, but it did a lot to make the transition feel both celebratory and a serious observance: here you are, in front of the tribe, owning this step in your life and having people honor it.
So that leads into what I want from the new year, I think, in a thematic instead of physical sense: more intention, more ritual, more deliberate action. We are a mythmaking species, which I’ve talked about as a reason that writing stories is important, but it doesn’t have to be only there. We are creatures who make meaning out of the sprawling chaos of the world around us; however we do that, it feeds the soul.
Here’s to the new year. May it be meaningful.