Last night, I marked the arrival of the new year – 2014 – with all the revelry bestowed upon any ordinary Wednesday. I did not make any resolutions, I did not go anywhere and I was asleep before midnight. Besieged by a headache and end-of-year fatigue, I didn’t even get to my annual New Year’s Resolution post, but I did post four other articles, so I hope you’ll forgive me.
As people around the world partied and imbibed to herald the arrival of 2014, I was thinking more about a friend who celebrates Chinese New Year, which will occur this year on January 31st. My friend is always terribly busy around Chinese New Year, and I asked her for a list of what is required of her. It was a very long list involving eating specific foods, showering at a specific time, doing laundry and cleaning the house. The list is itemized and ordered, and all in all it takes four days to complete. I can’t go into that much detail here, but I will say that sleeping in new PJs on New Year’s Eve is my favorite requirement and one I would like to adopt for American New Year’s Eve. It is supposed to bring you new good luck in the new year. Personally I just like new PJs, and I usually get a set for Christmas, too. So it should be easy to implement, even though I failed last night because I didn’t get my laundry washed in time.
Two days before (Chinese) New Year’s Eve, one is also supposed to declutter the home. The Chinese proverb is, “If the old doesn’t go, the new won’t come.” I like this sentiment. As Americans we’re used to spring cleaning, which originated in the 19th century when March was a good time to open windows and get the dust and soot that had collected over the winter out of the house. There’s still some validity to that idea, though with the advent of vacuum cleaners and central heat, it’s less of a necessity. But New Year’s is a great time – maybe even the best time – to declutter. (Disclaimer – I think any time is a good time to declutter.) New items have been received on Christmas while older items have lost their usefulness throughout the year. The oh-so-eloquent American proverb is “out with the old, in with the new.” Fair enough, don’t you think?
Though I still intend to declutter, especially the closet, I can see why the Chinese start the process two days before the New Year. Today, by happenstance, I wound up reorganizing the kitchen. I’d go so far as to say that I made it more feng shui, though I know almost nothing about feng shui. I would guess that moving the microwave into the corner as I did will help energy flow more freely throughout the kitchen. This kitchen is kind of cursed so even though I don’t believe in such things, if it helps, I’m all for it.
And speaking of the missed decluttering and the missed resolutions post, I would say if I were to resolve anything in 2014, I’d like to get better at keeping ahead of the curve. Keeping the house clean, accomplishing things in a timely manner, not letting things linger on my to-do list. I want this every year and believe I am getting better, though I am often foiled by my perfectionist nature. Things must be exact and precise and that takes time. Too much time to finish everything else on my list. So here’s to working more quickly and accomplishing more. 2014 is my year. I can feel it.
Also I’d like to read more.