Life In A Small Cowtown

Happy New Year?

Try googling ‘alone on new years eve’ and you’ll be inundated with article titles that include the words ‘cope’, ‘freaking out’, ‘hate’, ‘depressed’ and ‘survive’.

Really? Really?

I love New Years eve. And New Years Day. And the whole week after New Years.  In my mindframe, it’s not a holiday. It’s a walk across a bridge into a fresh new year. I can leave my baggage at one end of the bridge and find new roads on the other side. My tradition is to take the first week of the new year off work, which helps me focus on my own needs and goals. I’ve spent December tidying up as many loose ends as I can manage, finishing projects, cleaning stuff up and generally tidying my life. I try not to take on any new projects or commitments in December – no new pressures are needed right then.

I say goodbye to the exiting year with a glass or three of bubbly and wake up to the new year watching my beloved Rose Parade. And then I take a deep breath and begin exploring this pile of new days, 365 of them, all heaped up and ready to dig into!

Many of my friends and family agonize over New Years Eve. I’ve noticed they feel a lot of social pressure to have a fabulous night out, whether anyone else expects it of them or not. There’s a lot of agonizing over finding someone to kiss at midnight. There’s a lot of plans for drinking to excess.  There’s that list of resolutions they’ve made and are already dreading.

So, let’s say you meet all those goals. You wake up on New Years day with a headache and a vague recollection of snogging someone who’s probably trying to remember who YOU are while reaching for the aspirin, too. Or even more awkwardly, they’re in your bathroom right now mooching all your aspirin. When they’ve finally finished messing up your kitchen, then drank all your coffee and evaporated, you’re left alone again, holding a resolution list and trying to figure out how to post something in Facebook that’ll make everything think your evening was fabulous, which will just make others like you feel the pressure to do the same. What did you have in common that might have kept you together longer than one night? Booze and the calendar?  The happily ever morning-after only happens in the movies.

You want a real happily ever after?  Resolve to life your life in ways that make you deeply happy, every day. And make others happy – be the kind of person someone might want to kiss at midnight the other 364 days of the year. Be nurturing of relationships. Nurture yourself! Don’t worry about what society expects of you on one night of the year – most of society isn’t living up to that hype either. Be content in who you are. Be happy that you’ve been gifted with a whole new year to do amazing things. And do have that champagne. It’s such lovely stuff.  Happy New Year!

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Lori Alden Holuta lives between the cornfields of Mid-Michigan, where she grows vegetables and herbs when she’s not writing, editing, or playing games with a cat named Chives.

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