Thursday, December 31, 2015

Ringing in the New Year With Happy Memories!

Hello readers! Normally, I limit the posts on this blog to stuff related to books, but I figured I would make a exception today to reflect on the end of 2015 and the beginning of 2016. For the longest time I never really believed 2015 would arrive this quickly. The last I recall I remember thinking in high school that 2015 was so far in the future. I mean who can imagine graduating college and becoming an almost adult at that age, yet here I am.

I've never been a fan of New Years Eve or New Years resolutions because they always felt kind of sad. Another year of your life has passed and instead of looking backward fondly and planning for a great future, there is this pressure to better yourself. The you that you are currently isn't good enough. You need to be nicer. You should lose some weight. You need to get into a relationship. That's a load of BS. I gave up making resolutions long ago, but this past year I tried something new. Something that makes this particular New Years and those in the future special. I like to call it my memory cup.

The idea is that you find yourself a vessel of some sort, be it a glass, mug, cup...or if you're one of those people, a mason jar. It can be a normal cup, but I think this works best if it's a cup that has some significance to you. Then throughout the year you write down any happy memories, accomplishments, or important life events on a small piece of paper. Make sure you put the date with it. Then you just fold up the paper, stick it in the cup, and then naturally as time passes you forget what you wrote on those slips of paper. By the end of the year, your cup will be full of little slips of paper.

On New Years Eve you can spend however long you'd like reading all of the papers in the cup and fondly remembering the past year. Rather than picking yourself apart and focusing on all of the negative aspects of your life, you can spend time thinking about how the past year was awesome. From little day to day happy memories to large milestones. It's this physical and tangible recognition that you are growing as a person.

For those curious about my memory cup, I got this rather unique cup as a gift when I was in college. As some of you may remember from older posts, I spent a lot of time studying Arthurian Literature with the same professor. I wrote a number of large term papers that turned into graduate level papers that I presented at conferences specifically for Medieval and Renaissance literature. At the end of the last Arthurian course my senior year, my professor gave everyone in the class a cup. These were handmade cups that he was given over the course of his academic career at conferences. My senior year he decided to retire and on the last day of class he gave each one of us a cup that he jokingly called our own personal grail, "...even though you all know that the grail isn't necessarily a cup..." I figured this was the perfect cup to use since it is directly and even tangentially tied to so many happy memories. 

A few minutes ago I read all of the slips of paper and had the chance to realize how great this year has been. I've had some large life accomplishments like getting an internship, joining honor societies, graduating college, and getting my first job. I've also had some amazing smaller memories like going to the movie theaters with one of my best friends to see Breakfast At Tiffany's and dressing up as characters from The Wizard of Oz with my co-workers on Halloween. I've decided that I want to save these slips of paper somehow, so I can look back on all of my years. It might involve a 2016 craft project. 

All I can say is that 2015 might have had some negative moments and sad memories, but all I can think about today are the happy ones. I can't wait to start the new year and start filling that cup with more paper and more happy memories. 

As for my blog, you should expect the continuation of all of my awesome series. I'll be doing my usual TBR and Wrap-Up posts, along with my monthly music recommendations. Not to mention the newly created Nostalgiareads and the resurrection of Murder Mystery Mondays. In the near future, I'm going to announce the book that will be the basis for my next Watch-a-thon series! I've already chosen the book and drafted the list of movies to watch. It won't be easy to cover all that content by any means, but I'm so looking forward to it. 

Of course in the next week or two, I'll be releasing my December Wrap-Up and January TBR. Also I have yet to share my bookish Christmas haul, which you know I can't forget about!! To top it all off, I've got to give shout-outs to all the great books I read in 2015. I think all of this awesomeness is enough reason to stick around. 

Now, in celebration of reclaiming the past and looking forward to the future, I'm going to get ready to spend New Years Eve with my amazing best friends from high school. So dear readers, in conclusion, I hope every single one of you has a Happy New Year. See you next year!