I remember when I was little, New Year’s Eve was something to look forward to. My mother made it fun. She baked pigs in a blanket and put out bowls of chips and dip. We kept the TV on New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Dick Clark and got to stay up until midnight.
At 11:59 PM and 45 seconds, we’d gather around the TV and wait until there were 10 seconds left and then we’d all count down in unison. Once it struck midnight we’d all scream, “Happy New Years!” and blow horns and hug and then run to the windows. My mother would pry them open because oftentimes they’d be iced shut – and we would stick our head out into the cold, New York air. We would bang on pots and pans with wooden spoons and scream to the world, “HAPPY NEW YEAR’S!” In New York, we add an “S” to the YEAR part … not sure why – it’s just how we do.
I remember we could see across to the other building where my grandmother and other members of my family lived, and they’d be banging their pots and pans too. Such a celebration. And then to bed we went, because New Year’s Day is my father’s birthday, so that was another exciting day.
It’s going to be 2015 – many years have passed since the eve of 1985 into 1986, and I have my own children now. I still buy the pigs in the blanket, and I try to make it something fun. We don’t bang pots and pans because here in LA everyone is already sleeping at midnight. We do watch the ball drop in Times Square on TV, but we watch it drop at 9:00 PM because well, if New York is ringing it in – so are we. We blow horns, and it’s all anti-climatic to me. Sometimes we celebrate with friends but no family. And we come home and go to bed. We wake up to FaceTime my dad and wish him a Happy Birthday. And after that – it’s just the 1st of January.
I don’t like New Year’s Eve and haven’t in years. No one drank alcohol in my house growing up. No beer. No wine. It was about making noise and dipping chips. We do not drink alcohol in our]house now. And my children appreciate it. My 13-year-old daughter told me that even though her father and I do things that “annoy” her – she feels safe because we don’t drink.
But I digress – I don’t think it has anything to do with alcohol. I just don’t like New Year’s Eve. For me, it feels like a sad night. A night to remember a long time ago and all those loved ones that didn’t make it this far. New Year’s Eve represents the end of the entire year, and I reflect on how fast it all went and what I thought I would have accomplished. I think a bit about what I have accomplished and then I start to think about the New Year we are entering and what it has in store for me. In the morning, it will literally be DAY ONE. It’s somber. I think it’s somber.
January sucks, and that is a definitive statement. It even sucked in New York. It was cold and dark and boring. And it still is, only in LA, it’s sunny.
I guess time is flying and isn’t it always? I am constantly reminding myself to stay in the moment and to take mental pictures of everything because it will all change and be gone before I know it. I take more than mental pictures; I take real pictures with my iPhone and it’s actually a problem.I am a virtual hoarder with nearly 4,000 photos on my phone, and I can’t bring myself to delete one – EVEN THOUGH- they are already saved on my computer?! But that’s a whole other
For me – I’ve never lived according to a plan or a map – I have never lived thinking A, B, and C and then D. It’s always been … so there was that year when we bought a house and then there was that year we sold the house. And there was that year that I hit it big, and there was that year I did not earn a penny. There was that year when I had a baby, and then there was that year I got married. Nothing has been linear in my life.
I guess, with the way I live – I never know what lies ahead and I can’t predict whether great things will happen or if bad things will happen so staying in the moment is best. The way I see it, there is nothing I can do to plan the course. I can try, but I am always derailed by what higher powers have in store for me. So am I a sitting duck? No. I move. I bob and weave. I go with the flow and see where I end up.
What I do know – for sure – is that it will be New Year’s Eve again – next year – before we know it – and I’ll be buying pigs in a blanket out of a freezer at Ralph’s again … in the blink of an eye. And I’ll have another 2,000 photos in my phone, and I’ll be wishing it all back. Every single moment that I’ve lived. I’ll be scrolling through the magical minutes of my life … God Willing. So along with setting fitness goals and going on diets make a note to enjoy whatever number is on the scale on any given day. It’s fine to swear you’ll save money this year but don’t forget to really enjoy buying that sweater that’s a little out of your budget. I have no problem with you writing your resolution to smile more as your Facebook status but remember to breathe on those days when all you can do is cry. We don’t have to be better; we just have to be. PERIOD. That’s good enough. It really, really, is. So Happy New Year … We’re blessed to be here.
Photo Credit: © Elizabeth Regen All Rights Reserved