Time to ring in the New Year.
I’ve talked to friends and family over the years who aren’t crazy about New Year’s Eve. Yet for many years growing up, it was my favorite holiday. It’s not as a controversial holiday to love as say Valentine’s Day or confusing as Arbor Day (or insert any day one doesn’t get released from school or work here), but I took special pride in relishing a holiday others didn’t.
Let me be clear in saying that New Year’s is no longer my favorite holiday, but I still remember why it was my favorite holiday for years and take time to cherish it in kind of a bizarre, cult-tish way that I obsess about things in ways nobody else does.*
It started when I was relatively young, maybe about ten. When you’re ten, things kind of suck. They don’t really suck, but you’re at an age where your hopes and dreams and planning really start to bother you, because you’re still a child and all those tv shows and movies about kids saving the day and being a hero are really becoming at odds with how you see yourself.**
So I was stuck inside with my mom and my stepdad, and at midnight we went outside and lit sparklers. I wanted to set off real fireworks, but my mom watched A Christmas Story too many times, and was all “You’ll shoot your eye out!” No dice. From the beginning of the evening until shortly after midnight right before I went to bed (because there was nothing else to do), I made a promise to myself.
The promise was to not just accept a holiday as another day, but to grab it with all my might and celebrate as mightily as I was allowed (or maybe more at a distance from parental units!). My New Year resolution was about New Years.
Other things I love about New Year’s besides partying like it’s 1999 (I’m lame and awesome simultaneously, so I’m sticking with this outdated phrase…also, I love Prince):
- End of year lists
What were the best &worst movies of the year? What were all the news items I missed, because I’m really bad at paying attention to things? (No, seriously, my in-laws wrapped two Christmas gifts under my nose for me this weekend, and I was spacing out like cats do when they spot some fuzz but are too lazy to chase it.)It’s been pointed out to me that I should really check out Big Fat Quiz of the Year which is all about the end of the year wrap-up.
- End of year apps
What hilarious things did I say? What amazing pictures did we take? Who poked me the most? etc.
- Fireworks to a point
Provided they do not interrupt my sleep or scare my animals
- Partying to a point
Same rules apply. I’m kind of a grandpa. One of my closest friends and I consistently bond over the Cards of Humanity phrase “Some g-damn peace and quiet.” It will almost always trump any other card for either of us.
- Nostalgia Beyond Normalcy
I’ve been reading a book called Lying: A Metaphorical Memoir by Lauren Slater. Slater has temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE), and because of the way the seizures affect her brain, she talked about how she is prone to extreme nostalgia.I don’t have TLE, so I don’t want you to misunderstand. I also don’t want you to think I’m making light of the situation, but I am trying to clarify the difference. I find memory fascinating and recommend the book even though there’s a fair amount of rambling (but I ramble too, so what do I know?). I have a lovely summer home in the Past, but I try not to stay there too often. I’m no stranger to normal nostalgia, especially the heightened, somewhat nausea-inducing amount I pour over everything on the eve of New Year’s.
“This is the last shower I will take this year,” I reflect as I luffaw my shoulder into a sudsy softness. “This is the last song I’ll hear this year,” I’ll hum. “This is the last outfit I’ll wear.” You get the idea-so silly.
- Black-eyed Peas and Cabbage
It’s supposed to bring luck and wealth in the New Year, and my husband, the fabulous cook, makes the most amazing food. Also, there’s a solid ton of bacon-a must have.
- Watching People Make and Break their Resolutions
It’s like watching ice skaters on a rink at the mall…if they can’t fly high and proud, you still tingle a little bit on the inside when they hit the ground.
- New Year’s Kiss
Romantic, beautiful, the thrill still gets me.
- When Harry Met Sally
It has a New Year’s theme related to time passing and people falling in love.
If you have a child, watching them learn and become their own, unique identity. Regardless, we all have room for emotional and spiritual growth. It’s refreshing to think about.
Happy New Year’s, everyone!
*In order to fully explain why NY is no longer my favorite holiday, I’d have to go through the whole history of holidays and my relation to them, and nobody wants that (I don’t think it would take that long, but I have a way of creating tangents where none should be). If for some reason you do, comment at the bottom, and I’ll come up with a separate post. Maybe I’ll even include a beautiful forest like the one in Nightmare Before Christmas where all the holidays are accounted for, if you’re extra good.
**Another topic I could write a whole post about — the importance and clash of how you think your life is and should be when you’re young based on pop culture. I should be making notes in my Google docs about this! My sister’s boyfriend recently advised when I get too emotional that I take a step back and remind myself that it’s not real. He’s a great guy and new to the scene so he didn’t know I’d react this way, but I still narrowed my eyes and practically yelled, “It IS important. This is real life. This is what it’s all about!” I don’t think he understand, and that’s okay. But we know that it is. Moving on.