And the transition back to sanity begins . .
It’s amazing to me how quickly I can go from unabashed gluttony in every form to wanting nothing more than to clean and de-junk my house while nibbling on organic fruits and vegetables. Like many of you, I sit here on the day after Christmas surrounded by the debris of our celebrations (wrapping paper, toys, cold wassail, cookie crumbs) focused on putting my life back together. It was wonderful to be sure, but now I’m ready for New Year’s.
Maybe it’s the Japanese in me. Having lived there for a couple of years, I find their New Year’s traditions quite refreshing – there are two in particular that I think we could all do well to adopt.
Since New Year’s is the biggest holiday in Japan, December is a busy month for them as well but, in a very different way. They spend a considerable amount of time engaged in Susuharia, or “soot-sweeping”–the Japanese custom of deep cleaning the home in preparation for the New Year. Many of the traditions in Japan are centuries old and have symbolic, religious meaning. The tradition of Susuharia represents rubbing out the stains–both physical and spiritual–of the past year in order to purify the home and spirit for the coming New Year and life.
The other tradition that keeps them busy during December is that of wrapping up all their affairs so as to avoid carrying over any debts or duties beyond New Year’s Eve. The Japanese are very diligent about this, and the tradition likewise carries a deeper meaning of leaving behind old problems and worries to start life afresh.
Don’t those sound like two wonderful ways to start the New Year? Wouldn’t it be great to think of and act on remedies for the physical mess and financial debts of a month of gluttony. (And I would also include the effects of overeating too many rich foods!)
So as you go into this week of “damage control” between Christmas and New Year’s, you might consider using something like our great Seven Step Plan to Organizing the House to get your home in order and make a list of simple resolutions/actions regarding your finances and your health.