Being in the moment:

Or “why I love New Year’s Eve”

 

I don’t think of myself as a “crunchy-granola” type. People don’t describe me as very zen. I’ve never been one to be “in the moment.” Once I took at meditation class, after which I was told by the Instructor “Perhaps finding stillness is not for you.” 


But…  I absolutely LOVE New Year’s Eve. It’s my favorite holiday and for a very zen reason:


It celebrates a single moment in space and time.


Just one single moment. Never the same.  All over the planet. Midnight Jan 1st. It will never be that moment again. It’s not a celebration of the birth of the baby Jesus, or the independence of our nation or a hallmark-created celebration of love. It’s just one moment - that’s it - one little second. A celebration of time and “presence.” 


So for me - I don’t feel all that pressure that others feel on New Year’s Eve. It doesn’t matter where I am or what I’m doing, because all I have to do is celebrate that one simple moment!  I don’t feel the need to rehash the last 12 months or make resolutions for the next. I simply celebrate the steady and certain passing of time. It just happens - one moment at a time… with or without me. I find great stillness ... and movement in that!


It doesn’t hurt that this particular holiday occurs in the middle of the night and is centered around New York City. People wear black; celebrate with noisemakers, fireworks, and glitter; eat caviar and drink champagne — all things that appeal to my sensibilities.


Because of this… I’m the one you want to be with on New Year’s Eve. I’m infectious. I carefully watch the clock. I get a childlike excitement 10 minutes prior and begin to jump around and announce the countdown... “10 minutes!  5 minutes!  The moment is coming!” I always make sure to have a couple of noisemakers in my pocket to share (I prefer the horn variety) and possibly a cardboard tiara or two. As a child I remember filling the floor with balloons and stomping them at midnight; so I usually carry a small pack of balloons as well.


One year I was at a crowded 4-story house party with a single small TV. I was so busy under the kitchen table trying to find the bag of noisemakers that I missed it - the actual moment.  I looked at my watch at about 12:08, handed out as many horns and whistles as I could and and just started yelling, “10, 9, 8, 7…” Everyone joined in and we created our own single moment to celebrate!


Another year a group of friends and I were on our way between parties and had car trouble on a snowy highway. We all got out of the car, proceeded with the countdown, and jumped around in the snow yelling Happy New Year! That was a memorable moment!

 

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I explained to a friend the other day why I love New Year’s Eve. How it celebrates a single moment. He paused and said “If you look at it that way… why don’t we celebrate MORE moments in time?”  “In fact,” I replied “why don’t we celebrate EVERY moment in time!”


And there we have it. My zen moment.  My way to be “present” all the time — Just celebrate every moment like it’s New Years Eve!