The last time I wrote the first newsletter of the new year was in 2018, and I packed it full of inspo and advice. I suggested places to jumpstart your exercise routine, tips to save money (and still have FUN!) and ways to be a better person. I reread it the other day, and my eyes started to glaze over. Who on earth did that peppy gal with the BIG PLANS (and high hopes) think she was? Answer: Someone who had never lived through a pandemic.
This year, instead of tips or advice, I offer you a simple ritual, inspired by Good Riddance Day, an annual celebration held in Times Square. As part of the event, anyone is invited to record his or her most embarrassing moments, greatest fails and biggest regrets from the past year on special Good Riddance Day forms, which are then tossed into a burning trash can. In past years, the forms were fed into a massive shredder, but this year, event organizers decided an incinerator was more appropriate. On December 31, our family tried something similar. We each took slips of paper, jotted down things we wanted to let go of from 2021 and threw them into our backyard fire pit. We huddled around the fire together, watching the flames lick the edges of our slips of paper and turn our regrets into a blackened heap of ash. No one felt the need to share what he or she wrote; the ritual of recording our disappointments and silently setting them ablaze felt like enough. Of course this exercise didn’t help me kick my chocolate addiction, spend less time on Instagram or change the world in any meaningful way, but it did give me an outlet for all the heaviness, disappointment and anger I carried in 2021. Plus, I love watching things burn.
The best part is you can have your own Good Riddance Day! Just grab a pen, paper and some matches. No dieting, budgeting or good deeds required.
Good Riddance 2021,
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