A New Kind of New Year’s Eve

I’ve never been a huge fan of New Year’s Eve. I’ve often felt pressure to be doing something exciting – going out, being with people, and drinking. Almost ever year, I have instead spent it quietly at home or a nearby friend’s house and it’s involved ordering out, a movie, and games. And I’ve loved it.

This year is a bit different for me. My kids are grown and doing their thing, not picking out our movies for the night. My mom died three months ago and the holidays hit hard. My partner and I broke up after many years together, and I miss our rituals and routines at this time of year.

And so, after a friend innocuously asked me what I was doing tonight, to which I replied, “Nothing,” it occurred to me that I would have what I call (and realize I need to work on) All My Favorite Things To Do At Home New Year’s Eve, maybe shortening to Best Of New Year’s Eve. Anyway, onto the explanation in case you are an introvert, homebody, have COVID and are quarantining, have social anxiety, need an excuse to not go out, or just want to try something different.

Once the idea germinated, I got excited thinking about what would make the list. (I LOVE lists!) What did I enjoy doing most at home alone on a quiet night? So here goes my plan for the night, in no particular order.

  1. Writing a blog about what I’m doing in real time.
  2. Make myself a four course meal of leftovers (that I space out anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour apart).
  3. Write a thank you note to a friend. Handwritten. In a card.
  4. Write today’s entry in my 5 year journal. (And yesterday’s and the day before’s.)
  5. Repot houseplants who need friends, need to be separated or have outgrown their pot (may we all!).
  6. Walk my dogs separately to enjoy alone time with each one (hopefully that reads as sweet and not pathetic!)
  7. Do paperwork for my new company!!!
  8. Choose my Word of the Year and add it to my One Little Word journal and write about it. (I love a good free verse acrostic on this one!)
  9. Order my word as a ring that I’ll add to 5 years of other words (which I still love and are still resonating) that I hang on a chain on my rearview mirror.
  10. Reflect on how I did with my 22 in ’22 goals. (Be proud of those I accomplished, be impressed at not tackling those that didn’t end up resonating and be gentle for those I didn’t make happen.)
  11. Remind myself that I am doing well as a recovering goal setter!
  12. Create my 23 in ’23 list.
  13. Read Chapter 3 of THE HAPPINESS code s..l..o..w..l..y and write about it in my corresponding Happiness Journal.
  14. Add a few new quotes to the beloved Quote section of another journal.
  15. Begin my 12 in 12 list, where after a bad experience of choosing all 12 goals for the year, by month, in January, and finding myself grumpily forcing my daughter to quill with me because it was August 31st and I said I’d quill in August, and gosh darn it, I would, and that I stunk at it, found it frustrating, my project looked like a preschooler’s complete with tons of glue and I resented it, I realized that setting a goal a month in advance based on my current needs, passions and goals was more palatable and relevant. (See #11 to understand how I ended up in this predicament).
  16. Add a sketch to my sketch book.
  17. Binge on Netflix in a blanket, with a cup of tea, with dogs on either side, in front of a fire.

So that’s the current plan. But hey, the night is young (only 7 pm here on the East Coast) and I will not refer back to and follow this list to be sure I am doing all I said I would. It’s that kind of wild and crazy night!

Happy New Year to All!

Photo: Phoenix Desert Botanical Garden, AZ, 12.29.22. By LA

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