Making the List

This New Year’s Eve, its time for our annual tradition. Its not just on Thanksgiving that we acknowledge what we’re grateful for. Every New Year’s Eve, for more than a decade, we’ve looked back at the year and remembered all the things we’re grateful for.

For years now, I’ve used this as the moment in the year to think about what I personally want the next year to look like. What do I want to change, improve, restore? I write it down and seal it in an envelope. Sometimes I add to or update my daily mantras.

Then I open last year’s envelope and look at what I wrote 364 days before and marvel at either all of the things that have come to be. Or ‘what a difference a year makes’. Sometimes, what I thought I wanted to become reality is no longer the priority. It’s a good reminder that sometimes things that we think are important, are really transient. And we need to let them go. This year will be no different.

As a couple, Jeff and I also make ‘The List’ every New Year’s. This is what we want to accomplish together – adventures, or home improvements or personal goals we need each other’s help with. Jeff swears by the power of ‘The List’. Some of the as yet unrealized things on the paper that has hung on our bathroom mirror for the last year, will come over to the new list. Other items will make their debut. But looking at The List daily helps us keep on track as we go through the year.

Another tradition that is a must every year, is the New Year’s cake. Usually it’s a simple yellow cake with chocolate frosting. But I bake in dollar gold coins and we cut it at midnight. The ones who get a gold coin have good luck for the year. This year I’m going to bake a banana bread with butter cream frosting to house the coins. Who says old traditions can’t be refreshed?

But no matter what, this year will be low key. Jeff has the plague I had for all last week, and Emilie is still recovering from having her wisdom teeth pulled. I knew there was a reason I got it first. Now I am healthy and well enough to take care of them. I’ll bake in a little extra love into this year’s cake – just in case.

I have a lot to be grateful for. This time last year, I was in a job I didn’t like. This year we’re preparing to move to Spain – and that wasn’t on anyone’s list from a year ago. Our world has shifted on it’s axis in the last 12 months. And the next 12 months? Well, I think we’re in for some adventures. And I’ll be grateful for each of them when we’re ringing in Ano Nuevo this time next year.

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