Finding forgiveness and $40 in the year’s final hours. But please don’t ask me about the peas.

Given my decision not to make any resolutions for the new year, I found myself rushing to get a few things done in the old one.

Thus, New Year’s Eve found me sitting legs crossed on the bedroom floor in front of my dresser, little piles of clothing growing around me. At least I could have my drawers arranged so I could find a warm sweater to wear in the morning.

“It’s not a resolution, but it is a nice way to start out the year,” I told myself.

In order to accomplish that I had to remove stuff that I didn’t know I had. A pair of holey, as in full of holes, lavender knit gloves had apparently provided great dinners for the resident moths, which I also didn’t know I had. The biggest find were two $20 bills tucked into a bowl-shaped hat. An ATM machine in a drawer.

The words “You’re forgiven,” written on a pin wrapped in cellophane, popped up from under a long strand of lavender pearls. My biggest challenge was not to stop and write down scenarios about it. Did someone slip it in my drawer as a surprise? And what was my misdeed that had to be forgiven? That itself could have been a book. I managed to stop myself — all right, maybe I did dictate a few thoughts into my phone – and continue clearing the drawer.

I was doing fine until my need to be an overachiever kicked in. I glanced at the clock to determine if I could also clean out my closet before friends arrived with dinner. If I stay focused I could do it. As I pitched a pair of strappy sandals with heels high enough to make me topple forward, just by looking at them, I realized I could throw a load in the washing machine and get two things done at once.

As I approached the kitchen, dirty clothes basket in hand, I was reminded that my black-eyed peas were still simmering on the stove.

Unlike resolutions, traditions are not things I can do without. Every New Year’s Eve, my Virginia roots guide me to get those good luck peas cooking.

But the water had probably boiled out about the time I decided to free my closet of a flowered hippie style dress I had saved from the 60s.

As I lifted the pot top, a layer of exhausted-looking little black eyes stared at me disapprovingly.

I’m so glad the new year is here.

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