Even before my father’s death a few years ago, I was never too excited about New Year’s Eve. It’s been decades since I’ve stayed up till midnight.
I was with my dad when he drew his last breath, the finality of which is profound. Not so turning the page to a new year. Compared to the end of life, turning from December of one year to January of the next seems more like a continuation than an end or a beginning.
Not only have I given up midnight revelry on New Year’s Eve. I’ve also abandoned resolutions. I know I’m not perfectible, and I no longer want to beat myself up trying.
Instead of setting myself up for failure year after year, I start each day with the success that comes from striving to live well, as a responsible citizen of the world.
This year, that’s meant staying home. This has helped me lower my carbon footprint. I already work from home; the pandemic has kept me here. No travel. Not even unnecessary trips into town. I’m not alone. So many people have stopped commuting in order to work remotely that the earth’s atmosphere has improved.
Cooking is another typical part of my rural life. Because I’m not shopping as often, I’ve foraged in my pantry and freezer for food we’re raised ourselves. Making meals from ingredients that haven’t traveled far is another way to be a good citizen of the world.
And I haven’t bought any new clothes because I don’t shop on-line. Instead, I’ve rediscovered a wardrobe of neglected garments at the back of the closet, including a pair of shoes I’ve owned for years and hardly worn; now, I’m wearing them out.
Of course, I’ve missed certain pleasures: travel, live performances, going to museums and to the movies, but I can live well without them.
The pandemic has helped me recalibrate what’s essential, and what’s not: supporting my partner, parenting our children; writing what’s in my heart. So that’s what I’ll keep doing.
Wishing you continued good health, good work, good life. And thanks for reading the blog.