Before you ask, no I am not Chinese. I am English/Scottish decent and about as pasty white as you can get. That doesn’t mean that I do not enjoy and respect the many cultures we welcome in this country.
I do not observe any of the traditions around the Lunar New Year personally, however I do very often seek out the excitement and spectacle of the lion dancers – and if anyone is passing out red envelopes I will politely accept! What I do love about the Luna New Year is the second chance to start over.
The New Year started for me, as I’m sure it did for many of you, with a big party, lots of fireworks and the feeling of renewal. We get excited when we write the date for the first time, the diary is brand new and clean – yes, I still write in a diary – we set out our new year’s resolutions and look forward to all the wonderful opportunities that the new year will bring. By about 4th January all of that is gone!
January seems to be filled with all the leftover crap we were dealing with in December. Your lovely Christmas holiday seems like a distant memory after you’ve been back at work for two hours; the kids are driving you insane and there is still another three weeks of school holidays! The decorations and gifts Christmas have all somehow made their way to the spare bedroom floor, or in my case Christmas lights are still draped across the bottom of the balcony waiting for someone to tidily pack them away for next year; and anything bad that happens, which you may have taken in your stride in October, you now feel an overwhelming sense of despair and cry out ‘but the year is only 8 days old, this wasn’t supposed to happen!’ I don’t know about anyone else, but January this year seemed longer than the whole of 2017.
Then along comes the Lunar New Year. It is conveniently located in early February so you have had a chance to get back into your normal daily routine: work, school (finally!), home, weekend activities. You are not stuffed with Christmas turkey and ham leftovers and you actually know what day of the week it is. This is surely a much better time to be putting all those new year’s resolutions into place or back into place. You can start the year over in a much better headspace and with a bit more realism about how it may change your life. The healthy eating that lasted three days in January now has a far greater chance of success – the brandy custard isn’t on clearance for 10 cents in Woolies anymore and Easter is still a couple of months away. Drinking less is easier now there are no longer 15 half opened bottles of wine scattered around your house. Joining the gym is more realistic now you are back in your proper routine and the Christmas credit card bill has been paid. Now is the time!
The significance of 1st January is behind you. Set your goals, write them down, tell the universe and have better chance of achieving them the second time around.
Gong Xi Fa Cai! Gong Hey Fat Choy! May the Year of the Dog bring you prosperity and good fortune. As always, I am here to help in any way that I can.
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