It is New Year's Eve, and although I have never been a fan of celebrating this night, preferring always to stay in, to just be with family, and even, in the past few years when the kids were off to other places, going to bed long before midnight, tonight, this year, will be different. This year is the beginning of the 50th year of my life. I don't actually turn 50 until early February, and it seems as though, if I were being technical, I'd wait UNTIL my birthday, and plot the year from February to February, birthday 50 to birthday 51. But, I like the idea of this new YEAR being my birthday YEAR, so I'm choosing, instead, to begin tonight/tomorrow. Tomorrow is a new beginning. A trite and traditional one, to be sure, but in some ways, I like that. If my birthday weren't until later in the year, I probably would wait, but since it is close enough to January anyway, I'm choosingto begin celebrating having lived on this awesome planet for nearly 50 years, now.
I have big plans for this year. 50 of them, to be exact. Well, ok, so that's a bit of a lie. I don't actually have all 50 plans yet, but this is going to be the year of "50 Things to do the Year I Turn 50," so I'm working on the list. It's not a monumental list. It doesn't have things like "Vacation in Peru" or "Build a School in Nepal" or "Stop Global Warming." A lot of them are pretty mundane. But they are important goals to ME, and that's all that matters. This year, I'm focusing on me. That's not to say I plan to be selfish, or that I feel I am some sort of princess or that other people aren't important, even far more important. But, I'm important too, a fact that I seldom, if ever, give voice or creedence to, and I intend to, this year. And since the number one thing on my list is something to the effect of "Be alive - be alert to as many moments of life as you can, don't waste any more moments than you have to feeling sad, mad, angry, frustrated, irritated, etc. and instead, make it a point to just be open to life, to not take a single minute of this year for granted..." well, I decided I'd best start with TONIGHT. I wouldn't want to sleep through the beginning of something this big. That would be a very inauspicious beginning to this most awesome year of my life.
So, we've a bottle of champagne for later, I'm making some really delicious homemade caramel popcorn (because I love it, because it's kind of a pain to make and I don't make it often just because it takes "too long" but now, that excuse is just not going to be a valid one), and we are having a fire in the fireplace. I intend to read, maybe do a little embroidery, a little crocheting, possibly even doze a little on my really comfy couch in this super quiet house as I wait for midnight to toll. The kids are all celebrating elsewhere with friends. At midnight, I'll toast to another year past, but more importantly, I'll toast to 2013 - the most awesome and meaningful year of my life to come, because I intend to make it so, to live with purpose, and clarity and intent. Of course, I know full well not every minute will be like that. There will be plenty of not-so-memorable moments, hours, even days this coming year. I'm sure of it. Because that is life, no matter how we plan and hope for that not to be so. But in choosing to TRY to live a meaningful year, a year full of purpose and enthusiasm and a year of motivated, authentic living, I am already ahead of more than half the people on this planet who simply exist, drifting from day to day like their life is full of an endless supply of them that they will appreciate later. Later is now for me. This year will be the best of my life. I choose to make it so.