Before we hunker down to make resolutions for the new year, to put page numbers in the corners of our Bullet Journals (Bullet Journaling is on my to-do list – one year I actually kept the journal through June and those six months were good, productive and more orderly than usual), to get the black-eyed peas ready or to gather the ingredients for longevity noodles, I want to pop in and send you good wishes.
I’m in Paris, where the French custom is to not wish anyone a happy new year until midnight December 31st. Instead, people say, Bonne fin d’année! meaning “Happy end of year!” Usually, you’ll hear this right after Christmas, although some people start early, especially if they think they might not see you before the new year. It’s a pretty precise greeting – in keeping with wishing people a bonne fin de matin, fin d’après-midi or fin de journée (good end of morning, afternoon or day) – but it seems just right in the land of Descartes and rational thinking. It took me a while to get the hang of it and I still slip up. But really, can there ever be a wrong time to wish one another happiness?
Especially now, when we’ve had a roller-coaster year. A good news-bad news year. A year that taught us to find the joy. A year when many of us had to make the joy, so that we and others could find and share it.
As always, I’ve found joy in my family. And as always, I’ve found joy in my work – I’ve never felt anything but lucky to work at something that I love, something that’s endlessly interesting and just as endlessly challenging: There’s always something new to learn. I’ve found joy seeing so many of you baking along with me and from my recipes. And I’ve found joy in all of you who’ve been with me here. Thank you. I love that you’re here and love that we’ll begin the new year together.
Every time I start a new notebook, I write the same thing on the first page. It’s a quote attributed to Goethe. I found it decades ago and pinned it to the wall in my office. I pinned it to the wall in Joshua’s room, too. They’re words to live by:
And so, my wishes to you for the fin d’année are to dream, to begin what you dream, to be bold and to believe in magic. Oh, and bake and cook and share along the way!