#tbt New Year's Eve edition.
|11pm - December 31st, 2014|
What do you think about on New Year's Eve? In the last few moments of the year, do you contemplate the previous 365 days? Do you revel in all of the wonderful opportunities that you had? Do you look around and give thanks for all of the amazing people that surround you? Are you even awake (read: conscious) as the clock hits midnight? Do you even remember any of those last few moments?
Last night, as the final minutes of 2014 were ticking away, I was struck with the sudden compulsion to try to remember all of the New Year's Eves that I have ever experienced. There were the innocent ones, marked by sparkling grape juice and silly string fights and MTV's countdown, with that year's "best friends". There were the family-oriented ones, like last year, which involved a lot of catching up and "for old times sake". There were the glamorous ones - spent at exclusive parties, surrounded by cocktail dresses and sparkling heels and champagne that soaked the crowd at midnight. Then there was one - exactly ten years ago (and this is what sparked the reminiscing) - a high-school house party of cinematic proportions, that passed in a haze, and ended with too much smoke, and sirens, and at least 200 teenagers being pulled out from closets and under beds, corralled into the kitchen like cattle, and forcefully breathalyzed before being released (anyone? anyone?). That one was on the local news the next day.
Yes, there have been many spectacular end-of-the-year evenings and whether they were ragers or whether they passed in calmer company, I can't remember one that I didn't enjoy. But, I think that last night will go down as one of my all-time favorites because, for the first time.....probably....ever, I made the choice to see out the old year in tranquility, in solace, and, essentially, alone.
This wasn't an easy choice to make. There is a lot of pressure to do something amazing on December 31st and like most everyone else, I love a good party. I knew that I had more than one option that would involve an entertaining evening with fun people, but after the hustle-and-bustle of the holidays and, basically, trying to see all of my family and friends in the ten-day span during which every, single person who has moved away comes home, I just decided that, more than anything, I needed a night of R&R.
So, at 3pm I went shopping and bought salmon for dinner. At 4:30pm I made a teriyaki marinade for said salmon. [I burned the first batch. Badly. The second batch was the bomb.] At 6pm, my mom and I ditched my homemade dinner plan and went for takeout. At 7 pm we sat in loungewear, ate our food, and chatted about life. At 8pm we rented a movie from our cable provider. At 10pm my mom went to bed and I....I can't even remember. At 11pm I rolled out my mat and did some end-of-the-year yoga. And at 12am, as the old year faded into the distance I reflected on some of the most important things in my life, wrote a letter, and day-dreamed (night-dreamed?) about all of the exciting things to come in 2015.
At no point did I tune in to the festivities in Times Square, or make a list of resolutions, or drink even one drop of a bubbling beverage. And I survived! Seriously! More, actually, I really enjoyed myself, and I realized that as much as New Year's Eve is supposed to be about reflection, this was the first time that I had ever really taken the time to sit quietly, with my own thoughts, and reflect. I vaguely remember hearing fireworks and shouts at one point in the evening (it has only just dawned upon me that it was probably at midnight...), but I simply took notice, acknowledged the sounds, and moved on in contentment.
So far I have been called an "old married lady" and "a lame loner" by some of the people who already know about my evening (jokingly, of course), but honestly I feel really grateful for this experience. Don't get me wrong, I don't expect that this is how I will spend every December 31st, like I said, one of my fave New Year's Eves ended with police intervention, but I am really glad I took some time and gave myself the break that I needed. I feel calmer for it, not to mention considerably less hung-over, and I know that I will be ready to drive yet another two hours tomorrow and really be present while I spend quality time with a couple of people who mean a whole lot to me.
Wherever you were last night. Whatever you did. I hope that you welcomed in the New Year with love and inner-peace, and that you feel ready to take on the next 365 days with confidence.
I wish you all endless happiness and more adventures than you can count.
Love and namaste.