Make your own new year

29 Mar
Happy New Year to You! (photo by Flickr user techmeister)

Happy New Year to You! (photo by Flickr user techmeister)

My father once told me he didn’t want to celebrate New Years on December 31st because it wasn’t his new year. This makes sense when you think about it. December 31st is pretty arbitrary; everyone’s real new year begins on their birthday.

Ten years ago I added another “new year” of sorts to my personal calendar, and have been celebrating it ever since. It’s a day that has personal significance to me, and it serves as a reminder to check in with myself and make sure I’m doing what I want to be doing with my life. The day I celebrate is the anniversary of the day I dropped out of college*, which, on the surface might not sound like something to celebrate, but it’s important to me because it’s when I realized that changing my life wasn’t so hard. Every year I remember the dual feeling of control (making a decision to change my circumstances) and acquiescence (being open to whatever lay ahead).

I highly recommend formalizing the celebration of a personally significant day. Pick something that’s meaningful to you and articulate why it matters. Pick a day that changed your life for the better. Maybe the first time you traveled to a foreign country. Or made a decision to move to a new place and start over. Or got out of a bad relationship. Put it on your calendar as an annual event. Make yourself a cake. Take the day off work if you can. Have a party.

Happy new year!

*Eventually I went back and graduated from college. Stay in school, kids.

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