Welcome 2016!

It’s a strange feeling to stand at midnight on New Year’s Eve and toast the arrival of a year you’ve looked forward to and planned for but which has, up until now, remained stubbornly and elusively in the future as though it may actually be imaginary. But then suddenly there we stand, glasses in hand. And on TV, a stagehand in Stockholm is walking away with the giant 5 and another arrives with a 6 (because Sweden has such fancy technology) and it’s 2016.

When I was a kid the “in thing” was to have school jackets. I haven’t seen one in at least 20 years, so clearly they’re not a thing anymore, but back then we all walked around with the name of our high school on our backs (despite only being 10 years old) and our first names and graduation years embroidered on the front. I was probably the last one to get one, so it was maybe 1992 or so when I got that mythical ’98 stitched on my jacket. Mythical because it was so far in the future. To a 12 year old, graduating from high school is about as far in the future as you can imagine. But then, one day, it happened. I stood on New Year’s Eve and watched the ball drop in Times Square and the big numbers 1998 lit up. It was surreal – these numbers that had been on my jacket every day for all those years were suddenly the date I wrote on my homework every day. It was one of those years when everything changes, and we all knew it as we toasted that new year.

Some years are just like that. You know because you’re anticipating a graduation, planning a wedding, or expecting a baby. Or in our case, planning to leave everything behind and start a new kind of life across the ocean. There are lots of examples, but what we have in common is we are ringing in 2016 knowing that when we ring it out, things will be markedly different, though it’s hard to anticipate in that moment exactly how life will look.

Of course a year can hold a lot of unexpected changes, too. So many people we care about are starting this new year for the first time without someone they love. Other friends of ours fled for their lives this year and are starting 2016 in a new language, culture and climate. A year seems to go by so quickly, and yet its days have room for so much joy and pain, and it seems the only thing we know for sure is that things will change.

Last week we sat at a candlelit dinner table with our kids and reflected on the things that had happened in 2015. It’s striking how much happens in a year, even when by all accounts it’s been an “ordinary” year. The ways we’ve grown and changed in the last year are not less important for being less dramatic than the changes we anticipate in 2016. We are immensely thankful for what has been, even as we bubble with excitement for what’s soon to come.

So welcome, 2016! We raise our glasses to a year when we will take the plunge and pursue our dreams… To a year when we will open ourselves in new ways to all the risks and possibilities of the unknown… To a year of releasing burdens and embracing freedom. Cheers! Skål!


Happy New Year from the Lindströms! 

4 thoughts on “Welcome 2016!

  1. Silly hats for silly people. Happy New Year! Despite your humble description of your Christmas tree in your last blog, I think it looks very pretty in a simple way much like the Christmas trees of my childhood. More fit for a manger than a Macy’s display and that is the reason for the season.

    Lots of love, Steve

    1. Thanks Steve! We made the hats ourselves with a template I found online. It was probably my favorite part of New Year’s Eve – when the 4 of us sat around the table together coloring. As far as the tree, I think in general Swedish trees seem to have less stuff on them than most American ones, but we’d rather have a few meaningful ornaments, mostly handmade, than a Macy’s display (to use your example.) But I definitely agree – the event we’re celebrating is so simple, humble and profound. We’re trying to make an effort to celebrate it in a similar spirit. All the best for 2016!!

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