(This post was originally written in 2013, but I’ve updated it for 2016 because I have a feeling a lot of people might need this.)
How was your 2016? Celebrity deaths and the US Election aside, I know a whole lot of people who had a really, really awful year. Mine wasn’t great — I had to euthanize my beloved dog, but I also got to spend the year living in Amsterdam — but it also wasn’t the worst year I’ve ever had. That honor goes to 2008, one of the hardest years of my adult life. But that was also the year that gave birth to my favorite NYE tradition.
2008 was a really shitty year. To bid it farewell we went camping in Big Bend with a couple of friends. On New Year’s Eve, we were celebrating at La Kiva in Terlingua when I came up with an idea.
Kill Your Shitty 2016 With Fire
I wrote down everything shitty about that year, everything that had been nagging me, all the things I couldn’t let go, all the grudges I was holding. I wrote everything down on a piece of paper, and right before midnight, right before we had our champagne and kisses and rang in the new year, I threw that piece of paper into the fire pit at La Kiva.
It might not have made any cosmic difference, but it was so cathartic, and you know, 2009 was a pretty bad-ass year. So I’ve made it a tradition ever since — sending the year off with my little fire ritual. And I invite you to do the same this weekend.
Just take a little piece of paper and write down everything you want to let go of from 2016. Sometimes I write down my hopes for the new year. Sometimes I write messages to friends I’ve lost. You can make this ritual whatever you want it to be. Then send the year off in a blaze of glory. Here’s to 2017.