There’s an old Irving Berlin holiday tune that has some of my favorite lyrics ever written into song. It’s quite a simple and basic little melody, and of all the old Christmas classics played on repeat each year, it is definitely not one near the top of the list, nor is it as well known as some of his more famous songs. But has a lot of sentiment, and, to me - it’s quite nostalgic. It goes a little something like this:
‘One minute to midnight
One minute to go
One minute to say good-bye
Before we say hello.’
So - How do you say goodbye?
How do you say Goodbye? To 2020. And how does one say Hello? To 2021.
How do you welcome the new year in? Particularly, this one.
After such a year that we all had. After such sadness and such joy. After challenge and triumph.
And after thriving success and ultimate failure.
After surviving a tumultuous year.
Because if you’re reading this - you DID survive 2020.
My favorite lyrics continue:
‘Let’s start the new year right
Twelve o’clock tonight
When they dim the light
Kissing the old year out
Kissing the new year in.’
So - How do we all move on? How do we all proceed forward? What are the next steps you wish to take? What will you kiss goodbye to? And what will you welcome in return?
I’m not a fan of new year's resolutions - because I’m a definite fan of making changes in the moment - not waiting for a defined day. A date as far into the future as an unknown January 1st could be.
Basically - while I do make goals each new year, I don’t really “resolve” to do anything - I actually act.
I do believe actions speak louder than words.
So, How did I act - last year?
I worked instead of wishing. I took steps instead of standing still. I produced instead of wavering. I painted instead of crying. I wrote instead of longing. And I filmed instead of pacing.
2020 was the best year of my life.
So, no, of course I didn’t want it to end. I didn’t want to say goodbye.
But I knew I had to.
And I knew I had to move on.
My dearly beloved song then concludes:
‘Let’s watch the old year die
With a fond good-bye
And our hopes as high
As a kite
How can our love go wrong
If we start the new year right?’
So, yeah, um… what can possibly go wrong, right?
If we do all the right things… and make all the right decisions… and keep our chins up. And all carry on.
Yes, what - my dears - can possibly go wrong? During this bright and breathtakingly beautiful new year?
If world news and national events are used as a predictor, then it’s already looking like 2021 will be the very best year of my life, once again.
Because - With great sadness comes great opportunity.
With terrible actions comes the possibility of reaction.
With traumatic surroundings comes probability and junctures.
For the option of turning a new path.
To go ahead and take that fork in the road.
To aim high - and aim for that awesome and completely unknown road stretched out ahead of you.
And while you’re looking at the distant horizon, scared and standing - now - in strange and foreign territory. Go ahead and keep hoping… keep loving… and blow a kiss at everything which is now behind you.
So, I blew a kiss.
And I did say Goodbye. And then I said Hello.
Cause basically, what else was I gonna do? I kinda had no other choice, right?
Sigh… As I waved goodbye to the old year...
Sigh… As I kissed the new year in.
And as I kissed, I thought of it all. A year in review. A year in imagery.
The goodbye to my Etsy Shop. The goodbye to jobs and income. The goodbye to that which does not need me nor want me anymore. The goodbye to dreams. The goodbye to assurance. The goodbye to friends and family. The funerals not attended and the sympathy cards sent instead. Goodbye to sickness, and politics, and news, and coffee shops.
Goodbye to my Hamilton tickets. Hello to my Macbook Air.
Goodbye to magic - Heck I even had the opportunity to stand in front of Cinderella’s Castle on the very day Walt Disney World shut its doors to us. The biggest goodbye The Mouse has ever seen in his entire life. I stood there, and I said goodbye, and knew I would miss it all so very terribly.
The closure of nearly everything safe and comforting in this world.
Goodbye to dependency, Hello to risk.
And once risk enters the scene, then Hello to more risk.
Hello to hesitance abound.
Hello to skepticism.
Hello to mystery.
Hello to new conflict.
Hello to checks directly from Uncle Sam.
Hello to my Youtube Channel.
Hello to paddleboards, gimbals, and beach cruisers.
Hello to nights grieving for my country and for the state of our nation.
Hello to some of my favorite and most meaningful paintings I’ve ever created.
Hello to writing that came from 2020 - lived.
Hello and rejoicement to the best doctor’s appointment and hospital visit I’ve had in ten years.
Hello to sharing that news in silence. With no one.
Goodbye to age 39,
And Hello to age 40. A new decade of life.
And as I said all those Goodbye’s.
As the sun set on the final day of that tumultuous year we all called 2020.
As dusk turned to dark - one last time that crazy year.
And as I watched the horizon line blur, while the ups and downs faded away.
The roller coaster of emotion… of journey… of countless peaks and valleys.
And, gosh my gosh - There was death on that horizon.
There were tears flooding that horizon, forming a ferocious mirage.
There was fighting, and there were bombs, and there were arguments, and bullets and lasers and bricks and fire and sand bags and Hate.
As all of that faded away - I noticed something strange.
I noticed - that HATE didn’t fade.
As everything came to a close, and as the sun sunk low under that line, Hate stayed. And Hate hovered. Hate lingered. And Hate was proud.
Hate was going to survive through to the new year. Holy freaking crap! Hate was going to welcome in 2021 - standing right beside me.
As I looked out at the road ahead, Hate stood right next to me - eyes gazed upon the same horizon line mine were currently looking at.
What a scary realization, right?
Hate stayed with us and Hate stayed with us strong. Heck - Hate had literally crashed my New Year’s Eve party and I couldn’t throw him out. An unwelcome guest for sure, but a guest that wasn’t leaving, any time soon.
The sky grew darker. As the clock inched closer to midnight.
The fire of Hate grew more intense - the closer to midnight - the brighter the fire and light.
As the bells rang. And as the ball dropped.
Amongst all the kissing - Hate was a cloud above us all. I could still see HATE - all fiery and bright - in the darkness of that all important midnight.
Amongst all the fireworks - lighting up that midnight sky.
No one else noticed - was I was looking directly at.
No one else noticed - it wasn’t just sparkles lighting up the black darkness.
No one else noticed - the fiery glows in the distance.
No one else noticed - the Hate all around.
The evil hovering - in the fog.
The evil hiding - in plain sight.
The evil - celebrating right alongside me.
So, gosh, I thought. Is everyone cheering for Hate? As the pots and pans were being banged? It was just so obvious to me that Hate had crashed the party. How could anyone else not see this?
Is Hate something we must live amongst, forever?
Does Hate ever go away?
How do we say goodbye to Hate?
How do we push it all away from us?
How do we push Hate out of our lives?
And if you have the answer, the more power to you.
Because I have no idea. Other than to keep living the good life you are living.
To Love and be loved. Live and let live. Be and let be.
Will Hate always be there? A cloud in the sky, that never dissipates?
If history is to answer, then I guess the answer is - yes. Because the funny, or rather not so funny, thing about Hate is that it seems to hover... in the background… quite strategically and amazingly skilled. Camouflaged into any scenery it finds itself. Just waiting to pounce.
I think maybe it can never be wiped off the face of the planet. It’s too sneaky, and destructive, and quite quick at breeding as well. And even if we separated from Hate here on Earth, Hate would still be somewhere else trying to catch up with us again. Like the forces of gravity spinning us round and round. I’m not sure if there is a way to ever unlink humanity from Hate.
But if history and the cosmos is the answer, then I guess we know what we have to do - too.
Yes - We MUST keep living that good life.
We MUST keep trying.
And we MUST keep loving.
We even have to give love when it’s the very hardest thing to give. When it’s the last thing we want to do. We still need to give. And we need to forgive. And - We should most definitely still Love the one we Hate.
Because if love triumphs over evil - just like in all the fairy tales we’ve ever read - then Love must be Lived to truly succeed. It cannot just be words. It cannot be just wishing. I cannot just be pacing. And it cannot just be longing.
And it cannot be resolved and aimed for. It must be practiced in real time. Not waiting for a better day that never comes. It must be lived and lived now. Through chaos and destruction. Through foreboding and mourning. Through fire and screams. Through all the rain and clouds and snow and sleet. Through the wildfires out West. And through the snow storms out East. Through the hurricanes in the south. And through all the rough oceans and the highest of high seas. Through patience while waiting for that better day. It must be lived now.
Love cannot wait for another day… sometime in the future. When you have more time. When you retire, or when you have the day off work. Love must be lived today. While you are at the grocery store. And before you even punch in to work. And it must be there well after you punch out as well.
Love must truly be Lived in order to thrive. And breed. And renew, and grow. And strengthen. Maybe it’s just that Love takes longer to multiply and spread - because it is so very, very delicate. But Love, in abounds, can surround Hate, and make it less noticeable.
I think that thought and realization is what I took away from 2020 - when I blew my kiss into the air.
So, if you are questioning how to transition. If you are questioning how to proceed. And how to move forward. And how to say Goodbye. While at the same time saying Hello. The answer may be quite simple indeed.
Simply kiss that new year in, and keep on keepin’ on...
Yes - and do it before you even feel like doing it,
So - start before you’re ready.
Begin before the word Go.
March before you feel like it.
And Love before you want to give it.
Live that beautiful life that you and only you have been called on to live.
Live now. And live proud. Kiss the new year in with joy in your heart. Cheers to new beginnings.
Live loud. And live gloriously.
And, as my very own take on one of my favorite old songs so goes:
Let’s let the old year die
With a fond goodbye
And our hopes as high
As the sky...
Kissing the old year out
And wishing the new year in.
What on Earth can possibly go wrong
If we start the new year right? ~
Christine Pieper is an Artist, Lifestyle Blogger and Vlogger - living, writing, painting, and filming in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, with her hubby and nine year old puppy. She made a major life change in 2017 by uprooting and moving from Illinois to the Sunshine State, and has been living her best life in Florida since - detailing all her many and varied adventures living and traveling the Deep South to share with you here. Her mission is to help you live YOUR best life - by getting out there, going for it, and making that big change you always dreamed of. Christine will inspire you to get over yourself, show up for yourself, and get out of your own way. The only one stopping you - is YOU.
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Hey there friend - Go ahead and check out some of my other ramblings by clicking the links below:
36] The End Of A Decade & My New Year’s Wish To You ~
49] A Picture Worth A Thousand Words ~ Happy Valentine’s Day, World
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