Happy Ciemus!

With the end of the year rapidly approaching, it occurred to me that maybe I’m not ready to cross over into the New Year.

I mean, there are people already declaring that 2020 is the start “of a new decade” (it’s not – that won’t happy until this time next year), and that we need to treat the 2020s much like our great grandparents treated the 1920s – although, personally, I’m not ready for the return of Prohibition, the Gang Wars that created Organized Crime, or another Red Scare.

I mean, I get the sentiment – it’s like turning a page and starting anew.  In its own way, the whole thing is exciting – new challenges, new goals, new victories – every New Year starts off the same way.  “Nothing’s gonna stop me this year – the sky’s the limit!” I declare at 12:01am on January 1, and that robust enthusiasm will keep me afloat for about sixteen hours before Reality returns from its coffee break and slaps me silly.

But, as I’ve said, I’ve been thinking.

Maybe one of the reasons that we fall back into old habits and old ways of viewing the world is that we carry over old crap into the New Year.  I mean, I’ve spent a lot of time complaining about health issues.  My physician has all but assured me that my problems are here to stay – maybe I’ll get a different set of meds, but this is my life from this point forward.  I’m getting up in age and I made a few bad decisions in my youth (just general inactivity – no drugs or alcohol).  Ninety-percent of my issues right now are things that are happening – or will happen – to most people at their appointed time.

Rather than burdening my 2020 by complaining about my issues – as I did in 2017, 2018, and 2019 – I should leave that sack of sorry behind.  Let it pass into history just as 2019 will.  Does this mean everything will turn out ‘hunky-dory’ once we cross the threshold of the New Year?  Of course not.  But why weigh myself down with worry, regret, and anger when none of it can be changed?  2020 will have its own troubles; I don’t need to pile on last year’s drama, too.

That’s why I’m proposing a new holiday:  Ciemus.

It’s pronounced “chi-e-moose,” and it’s Latin for “Last Call.”  (It’s been a while since my high school Latin classes, but I’m pretty sure I’ve done this correctly.)  I’m proposing that the week between Christmas and New Years Day serve as “Ciemus” – the period wherein we visit our complaints for the outgoing year for the last time.  Upset about losing out on that promotion back in March?  Well, this is the week to get it all out of your system.  Still mad about your BFF spoiling an episode of your favorite television program?  Whine about it now, because you’re not getting away with that next week.  Walking around with so much anger that it threatens your relationships and/or job?  Release it – during Ciemus!

This isn’t to hurt anyone, nor is it for wallowing in self-pity or despair – so don’t think that Ciemus is for slapping around a few knuckleheads or hiding out at home with a tub of Häagen-Dazs.  It’s a call to remove the complaints, resentments, and self-imposed obstacles that are stopping you from progressing – from gaining the sense of calm and well-being that each of us is chasing after.  If you knew me on a personal level, you’d understand why this is such a monumental undertaking on my part.  (Seriously – I’m still pissed about things going back to kindergarten, and that was a long time ago.)  Trust me when I say, letting go of slights and grievances is not my thing.

But it will be.  I’m hoping that by letting go of that nonsense, this coming year will be my best one yet.  I hope the same for you, too.

Happy Ciemus, everyone!


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