Happy New Year friends! Or as they would say in Turkey “Mutlu Yillar!”. It’s been a few days since I got back from Turkey, but my memories of Izmir and Istanbul are still so vivid that when I close my eyes I can almost imagine myself back in a quaint dessert shop, sipping Turkish tea (with a squeeze of lemon), and enjoying delectable puddings and pastries.
Before I write a post about the culinary highlights of my visit to this amazing country, I have to share some cheese with everyone and speak a bit about starting a new year. Bear with me here….
New Year Eve celebrations have always been important in my family for some reason. My parents, brother and I like to start each year together. As the clock strikes midnight, we always smother each other with a massive group hug and several kisses. Sometimes there is a sighting of a tear or two shed in gratitude for another new year’s eve spent together as a family. This is how we have always started each year since I was little, whether it was in a Chinese restaurant during a snowstorm in Toronto, or on the dance floor at a house party in Dubai.
My parents have always impressed upon us the importance of starting each year fresh, with new resolutions, new goals and new beginnings. Each year we discuss what we want the new year to bring into our lives. As a kid I was always shooting for better marks, more extracurricular participation, wanting to win more debate competitions (yes, I was always an uber-competitive freak). As I got older my goals became more about who I wanted to become as a human being, and less material or achievement-oriented.
So what is my resolution for 2012? Like most people, I tend to worry a lot. Almost non-stop. When I am having one conversation, I am worrying about what I need to do next. Sometimes I am worried about my future, sometimes it’s family or financial security. There is always something. It is such a pointless habit. It helps no one, least of all me. It accomplishes nothing except turn my brain into mush with worry, and make me constantly distracted. I want to worry less, live more. I want to be present. Right there, one-on-one with whoever I am within that moment. No more multitasking, no more visualizing my to-do list, no more pondering existential questions when I am having coffee with a friend.
My mantra this year will be simple: Be Here.
Being in the moment can enrich the NOW. You savour and experience each moment as it is happening. In technicolour! It helps you connect with your intuition because your mind is no longer cluttered with meaningless thoughts. You connect better with those around you, allowing for deeper and more meaningful interactions. It forces you to stop dwelling on the past or anticipating future problems. Be Here. That is my goal. It is a lofty one but I am hoping to make some strides in this area of my life.
As we start a new year, I hope that each of us can hold on to the great memories we made in 2011 and let go of the struggles this year may have brought us. In the end, it is the lessons and good memories that propel us forward. I hope there are new beginnings and new adventures for those who seek them and continued happiness and peace in everyone’s lives.