Last night, a small gathering of friends made wishes before blowing out candles on a cake.  We were celebrating another revolution around the sun for planet Earth.  The desire for a new year to begin and for 2017 to end seemed an almost unanimous outlook for many friends and family that I had encountered over the past weeks.  Resolutions were discussed, contentment levels were pondered, and goals were set.  A huge sense of déjà vu is surely experienced at this time of year, as we reflect on what was and what could be.  The allure of #squadgoals and setting personal challenges are our motivators, our proverbial carrots to get up in the morning and seize the day.  On a recent New Year’s Eve BBC Radio 6 show, the DJ Mary Anne Hobbs revisited the question “Are you happy?” to guests including Iggy Pop and Bjork, to which they responded with eloquent wisdom.  Our pursuit of happiness (or the answer to obtaining it) is insatiable.

It’s no surprise that motivational quotes and mantras are some of the best performing online content that we share and instill amongst our peer groups.  But what really changes?  Do we fool ourselves each year with goals we cannot commit to and desires that we never truly fulfill?  Does our need to try a new diet or visit a new country actually improve our overall health or make us more culturally aware?  Or perhaps it is all a form of escapism, enabling us to hold control over an area when the rest of our lives are somewhat governed by chaos?  These are not snarky comments dear readers, but merely questions to keep in mind when pausing for thought at this time of year.

Tradition is the practice of customs that enable generations to share a historical grounding.  It’s these groundings that we turn to to mark occasions, when moments repeat that enable us to witness growth.  Birthdays, anniversaries, and deaths are steeped in tradition, allowing us to convey gratitude and show our respects. Without such traditions, perhaps comparable with the governance of law, we might drift without conviction, incurring a nonchalant attitude to our existence.  So perhaps we need these rituals in order to truly become better human beings.  Nostalgia provides connection, providing moments when we can discuss historical markers with friends and family that reestablishes our place on this planet.

So whether it’s over the consumption of black eyed peas or in the arms of a warm embrace, however you mark the completion of another 365 days, make every single moment count.  And wax nostalgic about it in 2019.

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