I love the Old Farmer's Almanac; i used to run out and buy it every fall when the new issue went on the news-stands, but in our wonderful* electronic age i can access its information with less trouble and clutter**. I also get their e-newsletter informing me of upcoming holidays, gardening advice, and recipe suggestions (largely useless for a low-carb "paleoid" like me).
OOOH! am i responsible for coining a definitive term? More excitement! ;-)
The newsletter i received yesterday reminded me that this coming Monday is Chinese New Year; in their words: "The new year is by far the most important festival of the Chinese lunar calendar. It is celebrated on the second new Moon after the winter solstice. The holiday is a time of renewal, with debts cleared, new clothes bought, shops and homes decorated, and families gathered for a reunion dinner. Chinese New Year is marked by fireworks, traditional lion dances, gift giving, and special foods."
I firmly believe in celebrating holidays, not least holidays which belong to other belief-systems and cultures. Most people, throughout history and all over the world, tend to celebrate the same basic archetypes, like "light is good" and "starting over gives you a new lease on life." Christmas, Diwali and Channukah (and, without doubt, countless more) are all "light" holidays. Rosh Hashanah (with Yom Kippur coming right before) and the Chinese New Year -- well, you can guess.... "Other people's holidays" give you a chance to realize the idea intrinsic to the holiday, without all the emotional baggage associated with your own.
I'll not be trite and talk about the usual New Year stuff -- i'll concentrate on the celebratory aspect.
Most people need more joy in their lives: it's the antidote to stress. What makes you happy? What do you enjoy DOING? Did you know that exercising in ways you don't like is stress-producing, and thus less effective than something you like? Did you know that exerting will-power in dieting is also stressful?
So FIND some joy! If your old/usual activities are tiresome and no longer exciting, try new things till one "clicks." Maybe you need a challenge. That's why i chose the new activity i did, because i knew it was outside my native skill-set. It makes me move (exercise) in a way that i have to THINK about -- therefore, it isn't mindless and boring, and distracts me from the amount of energy i'm exerting. And my instructor and fellow-students are friendly, supportive, FUN ladies -- the kind of people who don't bring you down.
Monday is the Chinese New Year -- celebrate it! I'm going to buy myself some new clothes, settle (emotional) debts (to myself), and find some traditional dishes that work with my PPC diet options. Too bad i'll have to miss the lion dance....
Happy Year of the Water Dragon, everyone!
*i mean this in the truly literal sense: full of wonders! :-)
**confessing "sins" again -- there are piles of books on most of the horizontal surfaces of my house.