I usually spend New Year's Eve Eve and New Year's Eve, trying to make sure that everything is just perfect to roll into the new year. I do things like... clean my house from top to bottom, deep clean the bathroom, wash, dry, and fold all laundry, clean out the refrigerator, throw out the half eaten box of girl scout cookies in the cupboard, wash my hair, shave my legs, lotion every square inch of my body, pick out a clean (and sometimes new) outfit, get the car washed and cleaned out...you know, just trying to have everything perfect going into the new year.

 Maybe go to church, and bring the new year "thanking God in advance for grace and mercy and peace and prosperity" and anything else I could hope for in the new year. Or maybe go to a party, and bring the new year in with lots of laughs and drinks and fun and friends. Over the years, those are the things I have usually done to bring in the new year.

This year...not so much. I had clothes in the dryer, waiting to be folded... clothes on the bathroom floor, needing to be washed... a refrigerator full of condiments labeled "use by ?/?/2013" and some even read "use by ?/?/2012" (oops)... a half eaten box of Caramel Delights (now known as Samoas) in the cupboard... 5 day old curls that could use a good trim and deep conditioner... my legs were quite spikey with stubble... I wore a UGA hoody and leggings that I had  also worn on Sunday and Monday... and I got my car washed last week, but two birds graced my black beauty with some polka dotted decor of their own. I didn't go to church... didn't go to a party.

The differences between this past NYE and NYE's from years before were on accident and on purpose. I was well aware that I was not even close to completing all of the things I usually did, and I didn't really I have the motivation to do so. And I actually felt very okay with it. I thought to myself... why? I love the newness that we all feel when the calendar year rolls from one year to another. We reflect. We contemplate. We plan. We make resolutions. We celebrate. We bid farewell. We pray. We hope. And we embrace. But at the very end of the day, it is just another night, that turns into a morning, that turns into a day, that returns back to night. And from there, we start all over again. Now, please don't get me wrong... I am in no way knocking New Year's Eve and the resolutions, reflections, and projections that come with it- no, no...I embrace those things because it really does provide us with a mile marker of sorts to  track and evaluate our lives. And this year... I hope to have a greater sense of reality- self and the world around me. I hope for progression, enlightenment, growth, good vibes, positive energy, peace, and clarity. That is what I want to see happen in my 2014. And I guess, what makes those projections for the year seem a little more real and not just hopeful, is that I began experiencing those things in 2013. 2013 needs it's own blog post, but for now I will just say, it was a trying year for me.  But, back to my question of

"why?"

Why did I feel okay with going in to the new year with old condiments and girl scout cookies? Here's why ->  I couldn't afford to wait for a New Year's Eve to give me hope that things could or would turn around. One random day, in 2013, I made a very conscious decision to change my life by changing my thinking. Ever since that day, my life has not been the same...and I didn't have to deep clean my house or shave my legs to achieve it. I just had to open my mind, believe, and commit to it.

So, in short...coming into 2014... I didn't want to go through the stresses of trying to perpetuate a seemingly perfect life, as if it was going to make me have a seemingly perfect year. I wasn't feeling that this year; it just didn't feel real. The beauty of life is that it happens exactly the way it is supposed to happen, regardless of what we do or don't do- and that is beautiful and real.  Dirty clothes are real. Old condiments are real. Hairy legs in the winter (or summer, whatever you like) are real.

Bird poop on your car is real. And that is what 2014 will be...real.

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