03 January 2010

Capodanno (New Year's)

The pouring rain doesn't keep people indoors to bring in the New Year in Italy. The main piazze of Florence have live music. The streets are a sea of people. Fireworks, firecrackers, and other homemade explosives are set off nonstop for hours.

New Year's celebration at Piazza della Signoria, 1.1.2008

The constant explosions makes me wonder about the soldiers at war. The air is thick. Bottles are thrown. Opportunists sell champagne on the street.

I am told Naples is even more crazy. New Year's here is a time of purging, and in Naples the people get rid of their old domestic appliances. Be careful where you walk as dishwashers and laundry machines are thrown out the windows to make room for the new.

I have now experienced and survived New Year's Eve in Italy.


The new year is when people make resolutions. Over the years, I have developed my own rituals. I take advantage of the lull in my workload to prepare my year-end documents for my business and taxes and get things ready for the new year preparing new forms, calendars, and paperwork.

More importantly, instead of resolutions, I like to reflect on the year that's coming to an end and map where it is I want to go in the year ahead (spiritually, emotionally, and otherwise) and plan my intentions. Yes, I am also a believer in making lists.

Before the New Year last year, I kept happening upon variations of a quote that I decided would be my theme for 2009. After all, nothing happens by mistake; right? I'm not sure who originally said it, but the quote I put at the front of my agenda is as Paulo Coelho says, "Wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure." Because I had already decided that Italy was in my future for 2009 and Italy is where my heart is, the quote was perfect for me. And everything I was doing was leading me, like stepping stones, to my bigger goal of relocating to Italy. So I am proud to say that I followed through.

Because I am so busy living my dream, I actually haven't yet taken the time out to reflect deeply on 2009 and map my course for 2010, but in the coming days I shall do so because I believe strongly that without a map we won't find our way to get to where it is we want to go.

Every day is a new beginning and one more opportunity to start anew. The beginning of a new year is symbolic of a bigger change. And rather than make some silly resolution that will likely be broken before it has a chance to become a new habit, I hope you take the time to do your personal version of setting your intentions to achieve your dreams in 2010.

-- Josslyn 'Giosalina'
Florence, Italy

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