New Years Eve has always felt like one of those days where you are supposed to be having more fun than you actually are.
I have done almost every kind of New Year's Eve you can imagine.
I have been in a sequined dress in the middle of the biggest party in downtown Chicago.
I have been asleep in my bed before midnight.
I have hosted a bash complete with champagne toasts in vintage glasses.
I had people I didn’t even know attending, so you know it was a wild time.
I have written intentions and literally thrown them into a campfire.
I have declared resolutions and not.
Picked a glorious, fancy word for the year and none at all.
Made a list of goals and had no goal.
I have done a countdown at 8 pm with young kids.
I have had blowers, headbands, top hats, and streamers.
I've kissed strangers and crushes and lovers and friends.
One year I rang in the New Year at a wedding. 9 months pregnant.
I have been drunk.
And everything in between.
In every case, I am disappointed.
I don’t know what it is but the big moment comes and nothing actually changes.
A lot of hullabaloo about nothing.
The same can be true for New Year's Day.
I have been to brunches and football parties.
I have been hungover and fresh as a daisy.
I have been on a boat in Florida and in a snowstorm in Wisconsin.
I have filled it with people and celebration.
I have sat in solitude.
It hasn’t always brought the newness I was hoping for.
This year, I was sick over the holidays.
My teenage kids had plans with friends.
I was so happy for them to have something fun to do.
My oldest hosted a small gathering before their dinner plans.
I chatted with my youngest who was out of town while she got ready.
They both sent me their cute celebration pictures at midnight.
I was kinda jealous of their excitement and youth and friendships.
I was already in bed with my dog.
My husband and I made a beautiful seafood dinner and watched football.
We were invited to a neighbor’s.
My husband got a work call and I cleaned up after the teenage party.
I couldn’t bring myself to get dolled up for a few hours of socializing, late in the evening.
I was bummed at myself maybe, but also I knew I wasn’t in the mood, so I just went to bed.
I took my dog for a short walk in the dark.
The fireworks were spooking him out so we came home almost as quickly as we left.
New Year’s Day I had no plans.
I woke up with immediate overwhelm.
I suddenly wanted all the Christmas stuff down, all the closets clean, and a very declutter and organized start to the New Year.
Until this exact moment that arrived with a start, I had been enjoying my beautiful tree.
My new sherpa robe and my permanent spot on the couch.
The books, movies, puzzles, and the slow hunker down feeling I had during the holidays.
New Year’s Day brought me anxiety and anticipation.
I took the dog for a real walk.
I asked my husband for help and got in a fight with him which turned into the silent treatment from me for the rest of the day.
He attributed some of it to too much time together, which is true.
I attributed most of it to all the extra emotional labor that I do during the holidays.
All the extra falls on me.
The holiday cards, the decorating, the shopping, the wrapping, the baking, the cooking, the cleaning.
It is all added to my already full schedule.
Being sick this year was both a blessing and a curse.
My family really can step up and help, the problem is I don’t give them much opportunity.
I take care of everything all the time like it’s my job.
My perfectionism tells me I have to.
It is hard for me to ask for help.
When I do, it comes out like a demand or a command from a drill sergeant.
I ask for help after I’ve reached my breaking point, not before.
I am hard on me and then I am hard on the people that I love.
Then I feel so bad, guilty, ashamed for my overreaction.
I end up apologizing and doing everything myself.
So passive aggressive and it’s just not working for me anymore.
I say, “No tree next year. It doesn’t bring me joy, it’s too much work!”
(I say this every year)
My husband reminds me how much joy it has brought me.
One look at my Instagram page shows me how much I loved it and took pictures in front of it.
I sat in wonder all season long at my beautiful, twinkly creation full of memories and hand me downs. It has brought me joy, I cannot deny that.
I realized I should at first shut my mouth and do no more harm.
So I attempted to get to a place of calm, when I was really feeling mad as hell, seemingly coming out of nowhere.
With no one around to blame, except my husband or my dog, so I chose my husband.
So much resentment on this fresh start to the year.
A rage more intense than usual.
Is it middle age?
I did my puzzle.
I sipped my tea.
I stomped around the house and avoided my spouse.
I was in such a bad mood.
What a bad omen for 2022.
I desperately wanted things to be different.
I wanted to feel different.
A serene and optimistic start to a brand new year.
I half heartedly reached out to friends.
I eventually decided to go to a movie.
I wanted to invite my husband but I was too mad to sit by him.
Too proud to offer an olive branch.
I can be a real persecutor when I feel I’ve been mistreated or taken for granted.
We were having a snowstorm.
I shoveled out my anger.
I got in the car and I took to the snowy, dark streets.
I only had one short, slippery, mile to go in the snow before I arrived at the theater.
I was ½ hour early.
That’s how much I wanted to get out of the house.
Knowing there are 20 minutes of previews, I still got there way too early.
I could not sit at home and stew any longer.
I took my time getting my tickets.
I went to the bathroom.
I treated myself to popcorn and a large icy Diet Coke for dinner with my show.
I watched someone do a life hack using a straw for the popcorn butter.
I tried it too.
I took the whole salt shaker in with me, so every layer of my popcorn would be buttery, salty, and decadent.
I started to feel proud of myself for my cleverness.
I held my head higher as I made my way to my seat.
The back row is always the place for loners.
I had reserved a seat in the back row.
I didn't realize it was a handicap row.
There were spaces between the seats and room for wheelchairs, with a railing in front of us.
It was awesome.
There were two other solo people there and I felt like we all had a secret.
Coming to a dark theater alone to escape something.
I was proud of all of us for our independence.
Secretly giving them high fives in my mind.
Go You, Go Us! We made it here in the dark snowy evening, we don’t need anybody!
I got comfortable.
I took my snow boots off, and put my feet up.
I took the liberty of also owning the seat next to me for my purse, hat, gloves.
This is a bold move for a rule follower like me.
I started eating that delicious popcorn as the previews started.
I was slurping on that icy diet coke, enjoy every sip.
I usually don’t allow myself to drink soda, not to mention extra large on New Years Day when the rest of the world is swearing off sugar.
I was thrilled with myself and my bad mood.
It didn't seem like such a bad mood when no one was around to witness it.
I was ok with it.
I allowed myself to pout and feel mad.
Turns out, it was ok with me.
I didn’t feel like I had to change anything.
So I sat there in that IMAX theater with my delicious popcorn all to myself
(I hate sharing with other dirty hands anyway).
I let myself eat it all with my feet up and being really obnoxious and self absorbed about it all.
Like a teenager, basically.
I started to enjoy myself.
By the time the movie started I wanted to be done with my popcorn.
This is my routine, I feel I have to hide or apologize if I am with other people.
I finish the popcorn, sanitize my hands.
Then I use a little disposable toothbrush.
I was so proud of myself and my resourcefulness in having these hygiene items in my purse.
So self reliant!
So planned in advance!
No kernels left in my teeth and fresh breath.
I put on my chapstick and some hand lotion.
Once fully moisturized I am settled and ready for the movie.
I have a lot of twitches, you see.
I don’t mind.
I accept myself.
With no judgement from anyone else I can be who I am.
I loved the movie.
I laughed out loud.
I loved my date with myself.
My mood actually changed by just allowing myself to be exactly where I was without trying to change it.
The best part of a bad mood is spending time with yourself.
You don’t have to pass your bad mood around.
You can just spend some alone time with it.
It feels good to be a grump sometimes.
It is fine to wipe that smile off your face.
Why would I be happy feeling like an absolute servant to my family with no gratitude?
It is not my job to pick up after everyone all the time.
It is not ok for people to not listen to me.
I am done brushing it all under the rug.
I did all the work for Christmas and then was too sick to enjoy the fruits of my labor.
That’s a good enough reason to be in a bad mood.
Once I allowed myself to be mad, I could start to find solutions for myself.
I choose to no longer put myself in a place to feel resentment.
I won’t be overwhelmed and stressed about everything that has to be done, because I am not the only one to do it.
I am not the only one that lives in this house.
I am not the only one who enjoys Christmas decorations and a clean house.
I can enlist in help.
It is not all up to me.
My family needs direction when it comes to housekeeping, but nonetheless they can help.
They are willing to help.
I can let them know what I need before breaking point, not after.
I can deliver the message in a way that will get them to gladly pitch in.
It is not only my load to carry.
For my whole life it was ME who expected it was.
Now I see that it is now.
Many hands make light work.
My family will help me and I won’t be overwhelmed.
We can enjoy doing the tasks together.
I will work to stay intentional next year about how I want to be spending my time.
Do I want to do all the wrapping, shopping, decorating, cleaning?
I think so.
I really do.
There is a bit of the end of the season meltdown from me.
Being sick didn’t help.
There is also so much gratitude.
A family that is willing to help.
A home filled with the most meaningful Christmas decor.
A sickness that passed quickly, and back to good health.
The ability to grow and learn.
A lesson leading me back to myself.
The ability to feel all the emotions, not just the positive ones.
A great big make up hug with my Dear Husband.
Happy New Year, Friends.
This year I will let myself be who I am.
How about you?