new years in japan is a big deal. it's a family holiday, where traditionally everyone returns to their hometown, and gathers with their extended family for 3 days to eat, relax, visit the shrine. there are many customs and traditions, including especially food, but also new years cards, a big house cleaning, and these days bargain sales after new years. it's also 3 days of quiet, although also 3 days where every shrine is crowded! japanese new years is not a part of my own culture, although i am drawn to the idea of starting the new year fresh, which i feel is the basis for much of the japanese traditions. for example, you should clean your entire house from top to bottom to welcome the new year. i started a big cleaning, but am realizing that it's unlikely that i will be able to finish it.
so i am cutting myself some slack. i am not going to feel guilty about things that i can't quite finish when i wanted to. and, i am going to think about the month of january as a whole month of beginnings, for getting organized, accomplishing projects. for example my new years cards, which are also not ready in time for new years day! ahhh, honesty.
in 2010, i made some resolutions that i followed through on: joining a yoga class, a pottery class, and a hiking circle. these are all great, and i want to keep up with them somehow in 2011. and there are lots and lots of other things i want to do! about a million, perhaps. and i want to focus on being positive, and compassionate, and remembering to breath deeply. but as far as resolutions go, i want to start with getting a good night's rest every night. i think that, plus a little yoga, will make a huge impact on 2011.
both the photos in this post are from an amazing little cafe/bar that is part of a new design in a traditional sake brewery on shodoshima island, unfortunatly i can't remember the name!
what about you? any resolutions? or anti-resolutions?
happy new year's eve from snowy kyoto!