It’s New Year’s Eve, again, and once more we have a fresh opportunity to fail, in the upcoming year. While that may seem wholly pessimistic, I assure you that is quite the complete opposite sentiment.

I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something. ~ Neil Gaiman

There are people who make resolutions for the new year (knowing that personal change must happen), and those who vehemently refuse (knowing that personal change will never happen). I know people on both ends of the spectrum, although I can’t say, without a doubt, which school of thought is accurate. My personal approach is to try new things and attempt new goals, despite the possibility of failure. But that’s just me, and you will have your own viewpoint, of which I can respect as well.

I do know this though: you cannot improve yourself or a skill of your own, without effort, and the inevitable failure that you will incur while trying. Is it worth falling on your face, sometimes failing at the same goal, year after year? My answer to the question will always be a resounding yes.

No time like the present…with a side of sweet and sour sauce.

The cool thing about traditions is that you can create them anytime you like. Today’s story is sponsored by the Second Official New Year’s Eve Chinese Dinner. Last year, for reasons long forgotten, our family decided to start something new: defined as spring rolls, boxes of white rice, and General Tso’s dishes (of both chicken and tofu varieties).

Ordered online, and picked up twenty-five minutes later, our local establishment looked like something out of a comedic movie. The restaurant was full and every square-inch of the pick-up counter was covered with bagged orders.

“You guys a bit busy tonight,” I ask.

Without hesitation, the woman at the front desk stares me down, pauses to catch her breath, opens her eyes so that I can see every square-inch of her irises, before answering in an extended exhale, “yeaaaaahhhhh.”

Her reply wasn’t meant to be mean, cruel, or sarcastic, but simply a reflection of how busy New Year’s Eve is for their business. Good for them. Apparently, my family isn’t the only one to celebrate the end of one year, and the beginning of another year, by toasting to crispy spring rolls.

I love to play games. Anything that is competitive. I love to play darts, shoot pool, any video game or board game, anything like that I am all about. For me is more about spending time with somebody, hanging out and enjoying yourself. ~ Casey James

Following dinner, we break out the board games. The girls have already created a tower of fun, selections of their favorite strategy games. With plenty of time to kill before the midnight hour, each person has an opportunity to select a game to play: CLUE: Harry Potter, Happy Salmon, Splendor. As time permits, the eleven o’clock hour is filled with the joyous sounds of karaoke.

As everyone experiences, the New Year’s Eve ball drops, 2018 rings in as a fresh start for everyone, everywhere—regardless of the failures and past mistakes of the previous year.

Our family celebrates with the clinking of glasses, filled with sparkling grape juice. Cheers to me, cheers to you, and cheers to a new year. May the next 365 days be filled with failure, because if you’ve failed, you’ve at least attempted something new and different. Success at a task is not the measure of a man, but rather the desire to attempt something new and different.

Per my fortune cookie, take a few minutes to absorb this completely random wisdom, pulled from within:

Go after what you want: there’s no time like the present.