Just a few hours to go before the sun has set, the bubbles have chilled, the candles have been lit, the finest is neatly fitted on, the friends and family gather, and the clock’s countdown begins. 2019 is so very close.

For all the excitement, freshness, energy and inspiration the thought of a new year unlocks in mind and heart, in moments such as these there is a hushed voice one is able to hear within one’s head – “slow down, not so fast.” These precious, last few hours of the year about to close are to be savoured by quietly, thoughtfully looking back, not wasted by rushing forward.

What a waste it would be to not pause and reflect back on all that has taken place, all that has played a part in shaping not just the year, but oneself. As has become the norm, the past year has been one with moments beyond expectation, beyond comprehension, and even beyond fiction. Moments of both triumph and tragedy, for the world, and for one’s own world, created distinct bookmarks that will shape the chapter soon to be simply titled ‘2018’. Add in intense personal milestones – births, birthdays, greetings of welcome, and goodbyes – and the combination becomes a heady cocktail. Bitter, sweet, sour, savoury, smooth, sharp, undetectable, ever-lingering….the ingredients all came together, not always tastefully and digestibly, but somehow digestibly. There was no choice but to drink it in.

Why? Because through the year, through all of the moments, memories, milestones, and madness, this is now a signature cocktail – created by, and for, you. Never before blended, never again to be created. A, your, original.

What a waste it would be to quickly throw aside this unique creation, this time, these last hours, without raising a glass to the year present that will soon, so soon, be a year ‘past’.

And so, as 2018 counts down to a close, may your heart feel gentle wave of silence wash over it – a silence that instinctively causes you to close your eyes, allow those signature moments to surface with the help of your mind’s eye, feel the invaluable part that each and every one has played – good and bad, high and low, perceived blessing and curse – and release a quiet whisper of ‘Thank You’ as you blow a kiss goodbye.

May the final sunset of this year reflect back onto you a warmth, and wink, for all that 2018 has been. And may tomorrow’s first sunrise greet you with an exciting, inviting, embracing smile of “Now let’s begin!!”

HNY2U! x