Pick a New Year's, any New Year's. It could be Samhain in October or the secular holiday on January 1. I don't know how much you believe the all-knowing Google, but some Pagans apparently consider Imbolc, Yule, and Beltane to be the beginning of new years as well.
I don't get it. I don't have to. The important thing is that we take time to be still and be thoughtful and think over what is to be. And hey, if it takes a hangover to get into that frame of mind, that works. At least you got there, and it is a reminder to sit calmly and live gently, ever so gently, if only for a day.
It was time to break through the agony and fury of the latest full moon. I don't usually feel them that much, but this one just knocked the wind out of me, psychically speaking. There was nothing I could do to feel it less. There was nothing I could do but feel. And feel I did.
There is only so much you can attribute to everyday stress from work, the holidays, the minor necessary busy-ness of life. This was a greater force. This was the difference between standing outside on a cold night and actually jumping into an icy lake.
It may or may not change your life, but it certainly makes you take notice, whether you think about it or not. All you can do is gasp and know that you are alive.
Then you take another breath and another and another. And you realize that even though it's not always comfortable and you're not always as focused or motivated or perfect or anything else as you could be, you are here and you have the now.
And it does make a difference when a full moon shakes you up and a new year hits your reset button. My everyday travel blessing feels less ostentatious these days but somehow stronger for all its repetitions. My smiles are more real now than they were in my ancient yearbook pictures. I have pushed my boat off from the shore and I am coasting freely through the wide open water.
I am free.
And what's more, I'm learning to steer.