I never quite got what all the hoopla was about the secular new year. I understand the whole bit about starting fresh, clean slate, etc., but that’s what the Yamim Nora’im (High Holy Days) are for me. On the other hand, the secular new year does come with its own to-do list:
- Buy new calendar
- Remember to write new year on checks
- Panic, because Oldest Son’s birthday is only a day away, and I’m probably not ready
- Make sure there’s enough food in the house since everything will be closed (Christmas was a good practice run for this)
- Run year-end reports for publishing work (fiscal year = calendar year)
- Buy sparkling apple juice
That last one is a leftover tradition in our family. Husby and I, when we first got married, started taking a photograph (later video) of us toasting “new beginnings” when the ball dropped in Times Square. We’ve not missed a year yet, and it’s fun to see how we’ve changed (or haven’t) over the years. Really fun to see the kids join us and grow (when they’re not sleeping through it).
So, I’ll “ring in” the secular new year still trying to finish this novel. I’m getting closer! Next up in the scenes to be written: Sara (wife of my protagonist rabbi) is about to have a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad Shabbat.
Husby claims I have a sadistic streak when it comes to my characters. I maintain that I just like to write them into tight corners and watch them figure a way out (sometimes squirming uncomfortably).
Thinking about it, I would now say that I ask my characters to give something they’re not quite sure they have. And that’s really what growth is all about – for any of us.
Happy (secular) New Year!