Is anyone else as obsessed with the television show New Girl as I am? The title of this post vaguely reminded me of the episode when Nick thinks he meets a future version of himself, and he asks "Future Nick" for advice in the coming years. Sadly, he realizes "Future Nick" is actually just a crazy old man in a box. Hey, it could happen to anyone. What? You don't know what I'm talking about? No? Okay, I digress.

I wanted to wrap up this week long look at our 2012 accomplishments and 2013 goals with the mention of a New Years Eve tradition that's close to my heart. And while I love New Girl and the concept of "Future Nick Wendy," what this post is really about is a tradition I started back in the 1990s, way back when Friends was the hit sitcom on television, and Alex and I were innocent college students at Miami University. A neighborhood friend of mine and I were talking and she filled me in on her tradition of writing a letter to herself each New Year's Eve, to be opened one year later. I loved the idea and thought it was a great way to reflect and make note of a passing year, rather than just celebrating the new year with a little champagne and a new calendar.

I started the practice of New Year's letter writing on December 31, 1997, and have completed my annual note each year since, which makes this year's letter my 15th anniversary in the practice. In essence, this hand written note is a recap of the highs and lows of the past year, expectations for the future, and is capped off with a few resolutions. I seal the letter in an envelope, and write the date it will be opened on the outside.

Each December 31, I take some time to sit quietly and read my letter from the previous year. I then reflect on my year and experiences and write out my next letter to be opened the following year. I also love and find it rather fascinating to read back through letters of past years to see how I've grown and changed, note how relationships or endeavors have succeeded or failed, relive joy and heartbreak, and remember what was most important to me at a given time in my life. 

Since moving into this house, I can't tell you how many of the items are, in some way, home or project related. More specifically, how many of of my updates say "I know I wrote this last year, but this year is totally the year to renovate the master bathroom." But most importantly, as much fun as it is to reflect on and appreciate the year's experiences and accomplishments, I like to be frank and honest with myself. If a year was difficult or miserable, I definitely don't want to make myself look back on it through rose colored glasses, especially if these letters become my lasting impression of any given year as a whole.

To me, this tradition that I've established for myself marks the end of a chapter, as well as a new, fresh beginning. In light of not having a crystal ball or "Future Wendy" to provide direction and interpretation of life experiences, I feel this letter is the next best thing. Though this isn't particularly DIY/home improvement/decor related, it feels similar to the way we hide time capsules of who we are and what we enjoy in the walls of our home. These letters become my personal time capsules that I'm able to open and enjoy each year.

Do you have any New Year's traditions? Perhaps it's a special meal you enjoy with family (pork and sauerkraut anyone?), a place you visit, or an activity you engage in? I'd love to hear how you've been gearing up for 2013.

 

Comments 8

Comments

Tiffany Miller
1/4/2013 at 1:12 PM
I keep a journal for my son I have written to him starting when I was pregnant with him. I believe we live on in our memories and I think it will be an interesting read for him one day :) I don't really know what my parents were like when they were young, the struggles they went through and I wish I had this perspective from them. I want my son to know how much we love him and how we find everything we do worth every second we spend to better his life. I think your letters would be an amazing gift to any future children, or family members to remember you long after you are gone. It's a great idea!
Wendy
1/5/2013
What a great idea, Tiffany! I often think about how I wish I had this insight into the generations before me. Your son will be so lucky to have this gift from you, and I'm sure he'll treasure it!
kim
1/4/2013 at 11:21 PM
I don't really have any New Year Traditions other than the traditional kiss at midnight with my husband.

And, I love New Girl, looking forward to the new episode next week!
Wendy
1/5/2013
Very sweet. A great NYE tradition indeed!

Tuesday can't come soon enough. :-)
Gretchen
1/5/2013 at 12:31 AM
Love the New Years letter idea - that's really cute (also love "new girl"). I don't have any New Years traditions now - not even resolutions - but growing up, my family tradition was to always do cheese fondue on NYE. I kinda miss that, so I may need to think about bringing that tradition back next year :)
Wendy
1/5/2013
I love the idea of cheese fondue on NYE. Sounds like a lot of fun! That reminds me, we have a fondue pot in the basement that's been collecting dust. It might be time for a fondue party. :-) Thanks, Gretchen!
Heather
1/5/2013 at 8:14 PM
I really like this idea! It always seems like time flies by so fast and often like not much has been accomplished in that time. I like to set regular goals for myself but I've never really kept track of them. I'm going to see if I can figure out a method that works for me to keep better track of these. A few years ago I finally got to open a letter from my 10 year old self that said "open when you are 30" which was hilarious to finally get to read (yes, I really did wait!), fun to revisit my hopes and dreams from my childhood self.
1/7/2013 at 8:47 AM
My wife watches New Girl like nobody's business. The episodes I've seen are hilarious. I've seen the future Nick episode.. love it.

Lisa's Italian family eats black eyed peas as part of their New Year's tradition... it's supposed to bring good luck.
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