As festive as the picture may look, our New Year celebration was almost non-existent. We returned to Panama City yesterday afternoon, because we fly to Nicaragua tomorrow morning early. Being told that there are no municipal celebrations, so no fireworks to hunt down, no best viewing place, we decided to stay put. Whether this information was accurate or not, if there were something happening, the dangers of sidestepping individuals with wayward firecrackers would not have been worth the risk.
It has been decades since New Year’s Eve has been an rousing holiday for me. We have had some memorable New Year’s celebrations in the past such our dinner cruise in Sydney, Australia; gathering in Lisbon, Portugal where a young couple gave us glasses of champagne because we had none; and Guayaquil, Ecuador where they burn effigies to rid the future of unwanted things or people. Every year for the last nineteen, we have watched the calendar turn over in some city and country other than the one we called home at the time. Having a visual feast of fireworks is not as important to me as feasting on the love and friendship of those around me. Even when others were absent, for the last twenty years, I have had Ron by my side to welcome in the New Year, anticipating what may unfold in the next twelve months.
This year was no different; we were together in embracing the New Year as it unfolded, except we did not leave our room. We watched movies, shared a bottle of wine and snacked on cheese and olives. It was all we needed this time, this year, shedding the past and welcoming the new.
There are planned life changes already in the forecast for 2014. Our wedding is 3 months and 18 days away. By the time we return to Budapest, it will be even closer. That is a thrilling, but scary thought considering all that needs to be accomplished still. Other ideas and life changes are percolating.
Regardless of how you have welcomed in the New Year, I wish all of us good health, abundant prosperity, and a fulfilling life.