How would you like a fresh start for the New Year? I heard in the news about an event in New York last Saturday called Good Riddance Day which takes place every year on December 28. “A Cintas mobile shredding truck was set up on the Broadway Plaza in Times Square,” the report stated, “for the public to rip to pieces all physical evidence of humiliating, embarrassing and depressing moments in 2013 for a fresh start in the year to come.” People came with whatever they could literally shred that represented things they wanted to leave behind as they enter the New Year. According to the New York CBS News report, “Good Riddance Day is inspired by a Latin American tradition, in which New Year’s revelers stuff dolls with objects representing the past year’s bad memories, and set them on fire.”
New Year’s Day serves as a natural marker for us to think about what changes we would like to make, how we would like to do things differently in the coming year. It is a time of those infamous New Year’s resolutions. Although I often take stock of my life at the coming of the New Year, I have never had much success with New Year’s resolutions. The story about Good Riddance Day, however, did remind me of a similar action that I took years ago. I had had a particularly trying year. I got out a legal pad and made a list of all the things that had occurred that year that had tried my strength, tested my patience, and left me exhausted physically and mentally. I don’t remember if I burned the list or just wadded it up and tossed it, but I do remember that I was declaring the reasons why I was glad to see the year go out. I was also saying to myself that the coming year would be a better year. I still look back to that event with gratitude, because things did take a turn for the better.
I hope your year ahead will be a turn for the better, and that you can leave behind those things that have been a pain or a drag for you this year.