Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Ringing Out the Old

New Year's Eve always makes me, well, maudlin for lack of a better word.  It always seems to me that before I know it, it's New Year's Eve and I feel left out of the real fun.  It's like somehow, someone has taken all the fun and hidden it from me.  Or all the people I know are out having fun and purposefully leaving me out in a weird conspiracy to make me miserable.  It's like I am somehow deficient for not being uproariously happy on New Year's Eve and at the exact stroke of midnight, I am not singing badly and kissing my one true love.

It's weird, I get that.

Perhaps I can explain it another way.  It's like I'm in mourning.  It's a loss.  An end.  There's a lot of stuff out there about how the new year will be fabulous and it's a new beginning and lalala life is wonderful and we should all seize the day.

Fine.  I can carpe that diem with the best of them.  But, I can't help looking back to find some things wanting.  I see missed opportunities and blatant errors in judgement that I wish fervently I could just take back.  Then I see an absolute abundance of uninteresting days that all blur into each other and a dearth of excitement that I tell myself is contentment.

It is what it is.  I get that, too.

So, every year it's the same thing.  I spend New Year's Eve in a funk.  I try to find something fun to do and I fail, frankly, because I don't really think about it until the very last minute and I'm in no mood to have fun with this funk.  It has to wear off and be replaced by something decidedly unfunklike.

Like spring maybe.

Today I noticed that the guy who runs the local ice cream hangout has closed up shop until March 14 which is a little later than usual, I think.  He closes up every year just before Christmas and spends the winter doing God knows what. Then in the spring, he opens back up and it's business as usual while he rocks the spring, summer and fall away selling ice cream and making awesome broasted chicken.

I sort of do the same thing.  Every fall, sometime in November usually, I close up the garden for the winter and go into the house and close the door and wait for March so I can start the new bedding plants.  Plus, I plan out what I'll spend the winter doing and usually some of it actually happens.

I always have a staycation planned over Christmas and New Year's to have downtime on my own and spend time with the people who mean the most to me.  In addition, this year's downtime holds some new recipes that I'm trying out, a foray into cotton yarn crochet for the kitchen, a re-discovery of my love for ATS (TM) belly dance, and delving into home soap making.

First batch of castile soap

I have quite a list, actually.

So really, I should be looking ahead with anticipation for the new year.  After all, it's a chance to pay attention and see those opportunities before I miss them.  It's a time when I can stop and think before the errors are made.  It's a chance to look for the interesting things in every day that can add excitement to my life as well as those things that bring contentment.

Today a friend inadvertently reminded me of a thing I used to do every year.  I would spend some time in contemplation and choose a word that I wanted to keep close to the surface of my mind for the coming year.  One year, it was 'tolerance.'  Another year, it was 'persistence.'

This year, I've settled on 'authenticity.'  Not in the sense that everything in my life has to be authentic to be acceptable, but in the sense that the things I choose to do and become are authentic to me...that they feel right to me.  Not what I 'should' do, necessarily.

Sorta what I try to do all the time, I guess.  But now I want to be more purposeful and consistent about it.  Not a resolution exactly.  More like a guideline.

Yes, this is an attempt to talk myself out of the funk.  It might be working.