My most favorite New Year’s Eve ever, and the one I try to replicate whenever possible, was the year my morose cartoonist boyfriend dumped me right around Christmas. (That’s not the part I try to replicate.)
I should probably clarify that my cat didn’t like the morose cartoonist, so it was really a matter of time before the relationship ended. The only downside was that I wanted to be the one who left. And the timing was terrible. There being no time to find a suitable date, I was home alone for New Year’s Eve.
So I made a plan.
Surrounded by the sounds of a city in celebration, I set myself the task of evaluating the past year and charting a course for what was ahead. I wrote a list of things that I was grateful for, and noticed that it was quite long.
Then I wrote some notes about what I wanted to see in the next year. I wrote down some vagaries about companionship and career and contentment. It was like a spring-cleaning of the soul, except it was winter.
I went to bed shortly after midnight, feeling clean and whole and new.
Note: be careful what you ask for.
That year I went to the Nutcracker and wished quietly for a man who loved to dance and enjoyed the same kinds of things I did.
Not long after that, I met the Nutcracker’s Rat King in a yoga class. We dated until he left the ballet company and became a stripper (which presented scheduling conflicts).
I’m not sure what we’ll be doing to ring in this New Year, but I know it will include a few minutes spent in gratitude. I’ll inventory the last year and remember all the things that made me smile.
The list will be long. May yours be, too. Happy New Year.
This column originally appeared in The Magazine of Yoga