[Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu. Honnen mo douzo yoroshiku onegaishimasu.]
(Happy New Year! I hope for your continued favor this year.)
The New Year is a time of celebration for all. Even if you don't celebrate it on January 1 per Gregorian tradition, it is still a time of renewal, reflection, and another milestone in our lives. Against these we can see just how far we've come. The end of January marks a full year I have had the opportunity to talk with you all and it has been a blast rereading the entries and their replies. It also has been interesting seeing how writing style and commentary both have changed over the course of the months. Thank you.
So what about you, fellow Sandusky Register readers/commenters/bloggers? Looking back have you found that this has been a year of engaging in really great discussions, thinking about things perhaps you never did before, or even getting a bit dirty slinging conversational snowballs at each other? I'm just as guilty as that! What about in other ways? Loss, gain. Breakthroughs, breakdowns. Myriad forces have impacted you and have helped to mold you into the person you are.
For further inspiration, let's take a look at what another country does on this day we usually set aside for merriment and quaffing of spirits.
In Japan, New Year's Day is very solemn and important. It is a day when the house gets cleaned inside and out, money and gifts are exchanged, greetings passed along, and when we see a largely secular populace attend service at their local Buddhist temple. There, the temple bell is rung a total of 108 times (joya no kane) to represent each of the defilements of Buddhism you must overcome to reach nirvana. Long story short, you go to remember your shortcomings so that you may be a better person.
None of us are perfect and looking over that list I'll need quite a few rings of the bell myself to echo in my mind for the coming year...
Personal growth and the shedding of old ways comes with effort. It is possible to do if you are willing to pursue your goal. You may also go through some mental, emotional, or physical pain. Do it, but not alone. There are many people around you who are willing to help guide you to a new you. It must start now, even before the New Year. As the Japanese say, "fall down seven times, get up eight times".
Start by cleaning your residence. Donating unwanted or unused items. Walk once around your block. Say hi to your neighbor. Heck, even defrag your hard drive! Go back to what is meaningful in your life and build your base on that. There are clergy, medical professionals, social clubs, and all manner of opportunity to have others help guide you out there even in "little, old Erie county" (and surrounding). If you want an innovative way to help yourself, I'd suggest ordering a daruma doll. They are surprisingly effective!
Is there a goal, wish, or refinement you wish to have for yourself? Leave it here and let's check back in on it in a year to see if it has come to pass! Maybe by sharing it others can help you meet your goal.