I can vaguely remember what I was doing at the stroke of the New Year for the past 23 years. As early as 1979 I remember lying in bed listening to the roar of firecrackers outside. Hawaii’s mix of cultures includes a good dose of Chinese. Even through the western calendar New Year is not at the same time as the Chinese New Year the tradition of firecrackers and other fun things is ingrained into the Hawaiian culture.
I remember being at a boat dock in Lahaina one year and a boat sitting up off the parking lot under some trees caught fire. That was exciting and it was an exciting year. Of course I began to believe that whatever I was doing at the stoke of midnight at the year’s beginning was significant and would dictate the rest of my year. I began 1988 with a powerful firecracker nearly going off in my hand. That year was both thrilling and turbulent. As the end of 1990 rolled around I quit my job at Pizza Hut and visited friends on Maui. At a New Year’s party as midnight swept up I walked away from the revelers and said a little prayer. I had strayed a bit from God but I knew that I belonged under his control. I wanted my life to be different. Midnight came. That week I decided to move to Maui. In two months I was working for a radio station. In another two months I was full time. In November of that year I stated dating Prajna. I spent that New Year’s with her.
That was the last of the New Year’s that seemed to be significant. The next year Prajna and I were together at the radio station at midnight. Years after that we had children asleep in bed. I guess that once my life was right enough I didn’t need superstition to make me believe that I would have a good year. From parties and fires to actually sleeping through midnight I guess it’s also just growing older and discovering what’s more important.