Happy New Year! Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu! Hau’oli Makahiki Hou!
Many of us have rituals as we greet the new year. Yesterday morning, as I ate my ozoni soup, I reflected on how strong mine are.
I braved massive crowds at Mitsuwa’s on New Year’s Eve in order to get a precious bunch of mizuna, a Japanese green leafy vegetable that I only eat once a year in this soup. As he does each year, my hubby patiently put up with my list-making as I counted up my ozoni ingredients, and just as my mother taught me, I made sure it added up to an odd number before heading to the store. I double- and triple-checked the number as I cooked my creation on New Year’s morning. I don’t always do the same thing each year (but my broth is always clear). This year it was a konbu broth with nine ingredients. I usually do seven, but I wanted extra mushrooms, so I bought a second type of kamaboko.
Over the course of New Year’s morning, I watched as many friends posted photos of their own bowls — each a little different from the next — all made according to the specifications passed on in their own families. I also saw friends from other cultures proudly show off their own food and family traditions.
One ritual that a lot of us do at this time of year is to make new year’s resolutions. Those who are close to me know that I spent a good deal of time re-inventing myself in 2014. Most obvious, of course, is that I quit my job at the end of August and launched my consulting business. Before that, though, I did a whole lot of other things that helped me figure out what I wanted to do with my life.
I reconnected with former colleagues in Hawai’i and here on the mainland and resolved to incorporate these relationships into my new career. I took an 8-week course in Oakland with Compasspoint on nonprofit board leadership and resolved to do at least one major professional development activity each year. I took the #100happydays challenge and resolved to appreciate and recognize small things that make me happy. It was a very introspective year, to say the least, and I feel like I’ve been making resolution after resolution for months!
So what could I possibly declare now for opening of 2015?
The answer came to me at the tail end of a party we were hosting for friends last night. We were reminiscing about the days of MySpace and Xanga, when we poured our hearts into blogs. I was an active blogger from about 2004-2008 on these platforms. I used it to keep in touch with a close circle of friends. It became especially important to me in 2005 after Ray and I moved away from friends and family in Hawai’i.
But once Facebook got big, everyone migrated. We packaged our updates into shorter quips and thoughtful photos — equally good at keeping in touch, but definitely not the same as a blog. With Twitter, the text got even shorter. With Instagram, words became irrelevant. And with Pintrest, gone the original content!
Don’t get me wrong — all of these are extremely important to me as I embark on my new business. Among other things, I’ll be helping nonprofits and small businesses leverage social media tools. So you’ll definitely see me experimenting on these platforms. Getting back to blogging is more of a personal thing for me. I miss it and want to do it for myself. And that’s what a new year’s resolution is all about!
So welcome to 2015. And on with the blog…