Friday, January 1, 2016

2016: A New Year, Holiday Traditions, and A New Word!

Thank you to Ruth Ayres for providing this space to share our celebrations. Please join us and share your own!
Happy New Year!
As I awake, a new year dawns...fresh, with no mistakes in it. A new start. That's exciting and a little bit scary. Being single, this can be a lonely one to kiss at midnight. Years ago, I decided I would take back this celebration for me. I've spent a long time developing traditions to ring in the new year and now I'm proud to say it's become one of my favorite holidays. Here are some of my favorite ways to celebrate... 1. Writing and reflecting on New Year's Eve. I spend much of the day rereading notebooks and blog posts from the past year. I think about where I was this time last year and how I've changed. I look at pictures and writing from the entire year to help me see how I've grown and changed. 2. Happiness Jar...I call it my JOY Jar! This tradition I learned about from Elizabeth Gilbert. I read about this years ago. I have an empty jar on January 1st and I spend the year scribbling down memories filled with joy and drop them in the jar. 
I'm starting my third year of this tradition today. The thing about traditions is sometimes they take awhile to catch on. The first year I only jotted things down for two months. This past year I got to nine months, but inconsistently. 
My hope it in 2016, I remember to do this everyday. (I'm going to need a bigger jar.) 3. Cook something. I pick my favorites and indulge...sometimes it macaroni and meatballs, sometimes it's shrimp and pasta, sometimes it's steak. There's always something sweet too. 4. Create something. Spending time creating inspires me. I used to create a vision board for the year and hang it in my home. I abandoned that practice...instead, I paint. Last year I made my new joy jar.
5. Spend time alone. Really being alone and being ok with that has taken some practice, but I do cherish those quiet moments. I read a book or take a long walk. I listen to my favorite music or watch a movie. I meditate and pray about what's been and what is coming.
6. Spend time with friends. Spending time alone is a great way to reflect, but time with friends is invaluable. I feel seen after time with my friends. It looks different every year. Last night, I was invited to a small get together at the home of some friends. Talking and laughing and just being together is the perfect way to spend the final hours of the year.
7. Project for a year. In 2015, I committed to taking a picture everyday at the same time. I picked 5:22pm. I took 341 pictures. I missed 24 days...bummer. As the months went on, I also used a picture from anytime that day. It was an interesting project. I'm ready to say goodbye. What will my 2016 project be? I think it will be filling my JOY Jar! 8. Share my word of the year. This is the eighth year that I've picked a word of the year. It's also called my One Little Word (OLW). Here are past words...
2009: Mettle
2010: Engage
2011: Build
2012: Embrace
2013: Author
2014: Risk
2015: Fly
The word I've picked for this year is SELAH.
Weeks ago, I saw this word on Facebook...
I was immediately intrigued. I love what Glennon said, "Selah means holy pause. The Selah is the space between what happens to us and how we respond to what happens to us. When we don't take a Selah—we tend to respond from fear." A holy pause to help me respond from a place other than fear! I needed this word. I did more research about this word. It turns out it appears in the Bible more than seventy times. No one really knows what it means. Here's a list of possibilities...
stop and listen
pause and reflect
do a riff - go off the page
a pause, a reframing
pause, examine, consider , pray
to pause and praise
pause and calmly think about that
God has spoken
to lift the voices in praise
to pause and reflect
After words like FLY and RISK, I felt like I wanted a word that helped me pause...listen...examine...and even praise. Selah...

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