While I love the holidays with family and friends, the New Year feels like it belongs to me. It signals a time of rejuvenation, new beginnings, and endless possibilities. And I don't have to do anything for anyone else!
Two of my favorite days of the year are the Winter Solstice and New Year's Day. I look forward to them all year long. They just make me happy. I have not been officially diagnosed with any type of a disorder, but I do notice a difference in how I feel and my energy level based on what time of year it is.
While I actually do find something to like about each and every day, once we hit about the middle of February, I really start to feel happy and like all is right with the world. I kind of coast in a state of bliss until the Summer Solstice and then I start noticing the following days are already starting to feel shorter.
While I don't let that knowledge impede my enjoyment of Summer, I still feel it in the back of my mind. By the time we get to Halloween, I'm usually in a funk. I don't really like that holiday, so it's not something I look forward to. The only part I like is 'working' our front door to hand out candy to all of the little kids in the neighborhood. I actually love that! But that's just one night. Other than buying a few bags of candy, not much involvement required on my part.
What has helped me in the past couple of years is to start decorating my house around the first of October. I even put up my artificial Christmas tree. I use picks and focus on warm, fall colors, like golds, orange, rust and bronze. If I put any ornaments on the tree, they are just birds. I put swags on the banister and set the lights to white. They come with a timer so as soon as it starts getting dark around dinner time, the lights come on and stay on through the evening. I just need to adjust the start time every couple of weeks. This is also when I put new batteries in the lights in the front yard that stay up in the tree all year long. One set of batteries keeps the lights coming on at dusk, usually through the first of the year. This year I even put lights up in the backyard. Now I have twinkling lights all around me for the darkest days of the year.
Two of my favorite days of the year...
The Winter Solstice is my 'marker' that brighter days, in a nature-sense, are on the way. For someone who likes to plan and look ahead, I literally feel like I take a deep breath, and say "Let's do This!" No matter how gray and dreary the weather is and the days feel, I know that, at least where I live, in a just a few more weeks, the days will start warming up and flowers and trees will be sprouting new buds. How exciting!! Plus, that is around Valentine's Day, which, ever since I can remember, just signals a 'fun' day. What could be better than telling people how much you like or love them!!
And New Year's Day just signals to me a time of rejuvenation, of new beginnings, a chance to begin all over. We start using new calendars and day planners. We may put the holiday decorations away, which means cleaning up by sweeping away glitter, tossing wrapping paper, organizing closets, cupboards and drawers to find new space for all of the gifts we just acquired.
While I love the coziness of the Holidays, with an emphasis on being together with family and friends and all of the preparation of buying gifts and getting our houses decorated and in order, buying and cooking great food for others, New Year's just seems like it belongs to me. I don't have to anything for anyone else. Starting with a new calendar is like looking at a fresh sheet of paper, whether for writing a story, a To-Do List, or starting to paint a new image. The possibilities are endless. The what-if scenarios just keep bumping up against each other in my imagination. I have a notepad within reach at all times, day or night, for the first few weeks of the year, because ideas just seem to be sparked at a moments notice.
So while I don't normally embrace change, for me, this is different. This is largely a change of attitude. And that I can handle and actually welcome. So for this, I will gladly say "Good Bye" to the old and "Hello" to the new.
And for someone who loves to dream, what could be better than a fresh, New Year?