Mother of 2 daughters and grandmother of 7, I strive daily to achieve an optimum level of health and happiness. Life is all about balance.
My Haunting Little New Year's Eve Fear
We all have them those little superstitions that haunt our minds and which cause us to behave in a completely and totally irrational manner. From stepping over the cracks in a sidewalk to throwing salt over our shoulder, avoiding the number 13, running away from black cats who attempt to cross our path, or walking around ladders that block our path. These are the little superstitions which sit quietly in the back of our mind awaiting the opportunity to emerge.
They became a part of us. From the time that we were little kids and Great Grandma Maria or old Uncle Walt managed to bestow their old time wisdom into our very impressionable minds we have learned to incorporate these little superstitions into our lives.
Well I have my superstitions too and this is my little tale of a certain New Year's Eve superstition which I accidentally stumbled upon as a child and one which there unfortunately seems to be no way to forget.
Superstitions and Irrational Fears
New Year's Eve is one of those evenings that I have come to dread. With each passing year, as the date draws closer I find my thoughts encompassed by an ever increasing degree of fear over the upcoming event.
Irrational? Yes. Something that I can control? Nope, I've tried.
Years ago when I was a child a comment made by a drunken guest at one of my family's famous New Year's Eve parties burned into my subconscious thought and has remained there to this day. He was just an old neighbour who had drank far too much whisky that night but as he grasped desperately onto one of my aunt's arms he mumbled into her face a disturbing fact that has remained with me to this day.
He drunkenly slurred, "Whatever you are doing or feeling at the stroke of midnight is what you will be doing or feeling for the rest of the New Year ya' know". Then he plastered a huge sloppy kiss on my aunt that lasted practically the entire magical midnight minute while everyone else in the room shouted, hooted, twirled noise makers, and popped balloons.
For me it was like they were the only two people in the room and I was enchanted by their actions. I could not take my eyes off them. It was magic.
Are You a Superstitious Person?
New Year's Eve Sentiment or Superstition?
Now to a little child the words spoken by this drunken neighbor held an almost magical if not mystical quality within them. As a kid I thought it was a wonderful sentiment and I felt privileged to have overheard this very special information.
New Year's Eve is after all a very special time. As a child it was the one night each year when I was allowed to stay up as late as I wanted. Friends, relatives, and neighbors came over and everyone drank, danced, and ate till long after midnight or till one by one they stumbled off into the darkness and home. Some just fell asleep where they sat.
New Years Eve was almost as special an event as Christmas. It is reportedly the time when we each are given a clean slate to begin anew. Past mistakes are erased and troubles swept out the door as the clock on the wall strikes midnight. To a rather impressionable young kid it seemed that nothing could possibly be more heart warming or magical than New Year's Eve.
OMG How Soon I Would Come to Know the True Implications of this New Year's Eve Superstition
The wondrous images of this early New Year's Eve were soon to be turned into horror as I realized the unexpected events which could in actuality occur at the stroke of midnight. As a child that magical vision of New Years eve occurred long before my heart would suddenly be wrenched from my chest by a callous boyfriend caught necking with another girl at that most magical of all moments in time.
That New Year's eve as a child was long before I also was forced to endure the misery of the all too gross slobbery midnight kiss of an ancient uncle with rotting teeth (Now I know how my aunt felt that night).
Then came the New Year's Eve night when in horror I turned first left and then right only to find that the people on either side of me had turned in the opposite direction from me and there I was standing all alone at the stroke of midnight. Alone.
All ALONE! The forecast for the year ahead was almost more than my superstitious little heart could bear to imagine. The fear of the fateful upcoming year hovering over me till I could once again have another New Year's Eve prophecy to replace the corrupt one that I had received.
Even worse is the thought that I might accidentally fall asleep one year and slumber through that magical stroke of midnight, in which case I might find myself sleeping through the next year or worse, for all eternity. The implications of that midnight prophecy sending shivers of fear coursing through the core of my very being. Burr.
How I wish that I had never overheard that drunken neighbour and his superstition. Now I appear to be cursed for all eternity to believe what he believes. It echoes in my brain, whatever you are doing or feeling at the stroke of midnight is what you will be doing or feeling for the rest of the New Year.
Will you go out for New Year's Eve or Stay at Home
New Year's Eve Traditions
Of course I have had many New Year's Eves which were filled with feelings of love and goodwill, and others that I doctored to ensure that they would indeed be wonderful but nothing ever really quite stops my anxiety over this yearly event.
While other folks look at Halloween as the spookiest day of the year I consider the scariest day of the year to be New Year's Eve all courtesy of that rotten old New Years Eve superstition which just will not leave my mind. At the stroke of midnight you are unlikely to find me out at a party. I will hopefully be at home wrapped up safely in the arms of the person I love.
My best wishes to you for a very Happy New Year. If for some unforeseen reason you do find that you have a few brief moments to spare during that magical midnight moment put a great big smile on your lips and wish up some happy thoughts. Bless yourself with a warm heart and a smile of contentment for your New Year.
Wishing You a Year Filled With Blessings and Smiles
Advice for Superstitious Folks
1. If a black cat crosses your path you will be cursed with bad luck.
Advice: If you spot a black kitty turn around and walk the other way. If it follows you run. (For those who consider black cats lucky give that sweet kitty a cuddle or two.) Ours is named Midnight and he is a true little snuggler.
2. If you or someone else spills salt it means that there will be arguments in the home.
Advice: To break the spell throw the salt over your left shoulder with your right hand and don't pick a fight with anybody in your home that day. Wait till tomorrow.
3. Opening an umbrella indoors will result in 21 days of bad luck.
Advice: Don't do it.
4. Horseshoes are good luck.
Advice: Hang one right side up so it fills with good luck as hanging it upside down will result in the luck falling out.
5. The number 13 is bad luck.
Advice: Stay in bed on days that fall on the 13th of the month. It is interesting to note that my husband was born on Friday the 13th and he and I live in a house with two 13's in the address. Am I tempting fate?
6. Breaking a mirror is worth 7 years of bad luck.
Advice: To break the spell you must bury the pieces of glass under the light of the moon. Make sure that the neighbors are asleep first or they might think that you are burying old Aunt Marge out there.
7. A found penny is lucky.
Advice: Buy a metal detector and head to the beach.
There are thousands more but I'll stop here. I really don't want to have you spending the majority of your time trying to figure out a way to keep all those superstitious beliefs from invading your day.
© 2009 Lorelei Cohen