New Years Eve
“Rituals are the formula by which harmony is restored.” Terry Tempest Williams
I have a confession to make. I have always hated New Year’s Eve. Even when I was really young, I hated the exhaustive energy and resources spent on Dec 31. The overwhelming social pressure to go out and have the best night of your life in a skin tight, can’t breathe dress and painful heels in the freezing cold (yes even in LA) was never my thing.
For those of you who are thinking about becoming parents, having children is the best excuse to stay home on Dec 31. Throughout their childhood, I used my children as human shields to avoid what I considered the worst, most overpriced night of the year to go out.
We created Family New Years and celebrated with champagne and caviar, movies, Chinese food, played celebrities, danced and watched the ball drop. We kept that going for a long time.
But the kids grew up and one Dec 31 morning my ex husband thought that would be a good day to leave. Talk about the pressure of making it the most memorable night of the year. I was in shock and I didn’t know what to do so I did what we always did.
I went to Wally’s to buy caviar and champagne. I hate New Year’s Eve but I love caviar and every year I buy a decadent one. I sat in the parking lot for a while before I went in. I finally got out of the car and walked into the store wondering if everyone there would know that this time I would be buying it for myself. I went home and put a movie on. My children and my new therapist called at midnight (probably to make sure that I hadn’t killed myself).
I did the same thing for the next couple of years as I struggled to adjust to my new reality. Being alone on holidays is difficult and scary. One year I sat in the parking lot of Wally’s before I went in talking with my daughter. She was trying to decide whether to spend New Years with the boy she was obsessed with or the one she just met and would later marry.
I learned not to rely on other people for happiness around the holidays. I scheduled me days – massages, foreign films and art. I planned trips in early January so New Year’s Eve would never be too big of a deal and I could focus on caviar, champagne and packing. I learned that just because you are alone one New Years Eve, doesn’t mean you will always be alone. I didn’t spend many more New Year’s Eve’s alone. But I always do the same thing.
There is always caviar and champagne from Wally’s, Chinese food or pizza, this year – hot dogs and movies. Every year I take a moment and reflect about the previous year in the parking lot before I go into the store.
This year Wally’s closed their Westwood location ( https://www.wallywine.com Beverly Hills and Santa Monica) and I didn’t know. I sat outside the parking lot for a few minutes and thought about how great my life is these days. Then I drove to Wally’s In Beverly Hills and bought caviar. The boyfriend is bringing the champagne.
Happy New Year and Fly Safe,