Monday, January 2, 2012


Deb: ...was the time I laid my head down on New Year's Eve. First time in my life. And I kept saying, "For heavens sake, you've only got forty minutes to go." But I couldn't. I didn't. I was tired. I had been sporting a two-day migraine and I was spent. We had had a lovely day though. My Mom and Dad came over about 2pm with some dear friends and their moms. We have been doing this for about three years now and it is lovely. Chat, cocktails, pizza, and Pictionary!

Though in previous years we would start around 7pm ending with a resounding "Happy New Year!" at midnight followed by a mass exodus. We had to change it up this year because my Mom needed to be home by 7:30 to meet the caregiver who gets her ready for bed. So rather than scrap the evening, we chose to change it up to an afternoon/early eve. With the sky dark by five, it still gave us hours to feel all New Years Eve-y.

We drew bad pictures, we ate, we laughed, we had a festive cake with sparklers, and  we sang Auld Lang Syne. We did our countdown at 6:43 in a fun random way and we shouted out Happy New Year! just as if we were trying to drown out the tolling of twelve bells.

Everyone was gone by 8 and my husband and I hunkered down with tea to watch a movie, which we quite enjoyed although my eyes were fluttering back and forth from full to half-mast. Any other day I would have just gone to bed, but I am an eventist damn it. Have been all my life. So staying up until midnight on New Years Eve is important to me.

But the game of rationalization began. "I have to get up early in the morning.” “We have had our version of New Years hours before.” “I could just kiss my husband now and say Happy New Year!” “I could get a good night's sleep and start the year fresh and well rested instead of clinging to something that would ultimately amount to nothing."

Having convinced myself, I went to sleep at 11:23pm.

And at midnight I awoke to the sound of cheering and pots and pans and fireworks. I laid there comforted by the fact that this revelry was going on right outside my window. Our street was celebrating for me. Or with me I suppose. After all, I was listening and smiling with my eyes closed. And I appreciated it. I drank that cup of kindness yet for Auld Lang Syne and then nodded off, secure in the knowledge that 2012 had arrived fully and safely. I woke again a few hours later when I heard the boy and the girl come in from their party. A few whispers, a few giggles, the removal of shoes and the setting of the house alarm. They were slipping off to bed, the New Year’s party smell clinging to their persons. Again I was smiling with eyes closed. And I confess, counting my blessings that I was going to wake up with my head instead of theirs.

But on this morning, this first morning of 2012, I had a lingering feeling of disappointment with myself. Why didn't I stay up that extra 40 minutes? I made a choice that I thought was prudent and wise instead of fun and spontaneous. And in the warm light of a sunny New Year's morning, I feel I made the wrong choice. I wish I had stayed up. It is so unlike me not to have. I wanted to try this new me on for size. Thank heaven I kept the receipt because I am returning her. Like the saying goes "you can sleep when you're dead". Next year, midnight baby! I may be in bed at 12:02, but MIDNIGHT I'll be rockin' it. Yeah I gave in. I caved. I reacted to what I thought I needed given the last few months of my life.  I chose UNWISELY. Yet I am choosing to forgive myself because I did what I felt at the time I needed to do.

So I'm good. My choice to go to sleep before midnight was sooooo last year. As a result this year has started with a lesson learned. Not bad. Not bad at all.

Happy New Year, Everyone. I have huge high hopes for 2012! It has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?  TWO THOUSAND AND TWELVE!

Peace. Joy. Health. Lessons.

PS (posted later): When I came in from the gym today I found my husband laying on the bed in the afternoon, which is very rare indeed. This is the man who asks me at the start of every day, “What can I do for you?" and then does it. He has been in full-out mode for a month, dealing with all the stuff I have been dealing with. I asked him if he was feeling okay. He said, “I'm spent". He is. We both are. And it made me feel a little better about my early bedtime last night. Maybe this year ... it was the right choice.

Barbara: Deb, I laughed out loud when you said you were glad you kept the receipt because you were returning that new you. And I know you maybe might not return her after all, but that said, I really like the fundamental idea of being able to try her on and deciding, Hmmm, not so much.

I actually had a bit of a similar celebration as you. Back several years ago, Deb and I often spent the Eve together, but I think the long trek home at the end of the night put a crimp in that. Like you, Deb, I also began celebrating with family, usually Phil’s brother and his wife (who have to come from far out of town). But this year, as every year, we didn’t think about New Year’s until the last guest had left after Christmas and the last dish was washed and put away (right around midday, the 27th). And this year, Phil’s brother had other plans and so Phil and I decided—right away, actually—that we would celebrate quietly, tete a tete. We took our kids and a boyfriend bowling on Sat afternoon—where we, like you, enjoyed an early countdown to New Year’s (courtesy of bowling alley management) at exactly 5:40. We laughed, we played badly, we had fun. Then we brought the “kids” home to get ready for their respective parties, ordered a big tray of sushi, and opened a chilled bottle of Proseco to enjoy the rest of the evening in quiet coziness.

We, however (not trying to rub it in!), did manage to make it past midnight. In fact, I think we finally turned out the lights at 2am. Not bad, huh? (but were also roused out of deep sleep twice when one couple then the other child came home much later.)

Today it was a late sleep-in and then a really hearty midday brunch of scrambled eggs (but what scrambled eggs), bacon, buttered toast, and pancakes. Mmmm.

Maybe not quite ready yet to tackle 2012 head-on, but certainly smiling at the prospect. (and packing for Costa Rica, baby!!!!!)

What was it you said, Deb? ... right: "Peace. Joy. Health. Lessons." Yes!!!


  1. Wow, sounds like Costa Rica is just coming at the right time, you all need a good break, sunshine and the sea.
    Deb, so sorry to hear about you migraine, the up and down pressures have been a challenge for everyone I know who suffers from them. I really feel for you. Please don't beat yourself up from missing a time change. Everyone does New Years Eve differently and a lot of people just don't do it....they just wake up to another year.
    I had 5 boys from Acadia staying here. After we enjoyed Thai dinner , they all left for a party and I went straight to bed with my book and peace. Made the big breakfast/brunch for them too Barb and they spent the day in PJ's watching bad movies, only to come up for a cheese burger break.
    Two very good friends joined me for a lobster dinner at 4pm by the fire, which was lovely and they were gone by 7pm and we all relaxed the rest of our own evening away contented. so many different styles, they don't matter, it's just how you enjoy them. Happy New Year to you both and I can't wait until you all get to Costa Rica.....well deserved!!!!!!

  2. Gosh Deb I was laughing so hard....!!! i mean i like to stay up late..... i turn in around 2 am almost every night......but if it makes you feel any better i missed the first few minutes of 2012 because well....Nature's call was important !!!!lol
    And yeah... i mean there are so many years ahead.... its ok if you miss one..... look at it this way... you will always remember this new years eve...rather than saying you didnt make it till midnight....well you "DECIDED" to spend this one differently !!!!! (i am making peace with it the same way :D.....)
    And yeah this year sounds kinda special in fact ive heard somewhere that this is supposed to be a year of a lot of happy manifestations !!! Cool huh ???
    Barb you mentioned pancakes...and i am drooling here !!!! :P
    HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!...and yeah...
    (thanks to Deb for the perfect wishes :D)

  3. Mary-Jo and Shakala you guys are dolls. Leaving just the right messages and making me feel good about my choice. Having aquired a day's distance from it, I actuallly feel pretty good about my choice. Thanks gals.

  4. no problem i am coz its SHALAKA......not shakala

  5. Shalaka, okay, I think your New Year's, erm, diversion, takes the prize!! Sooo funny!

    Mary-Jo, it does sound like we enjoyed similar days. I love the gang of sleepy kids sprawled on the couches or reveling in good food. Best part about the holidays!

  6. I haven't stayed up for New Year's in many years. Just not into it as a big deal. If I stay up fine if not fine. This year I was asleep at 10pm. I was spent. Slept 9 hours and woke up fresh and relaxed for the new year. No need to stress first thing in 2012 Deb. :)

  7. I'm just giggling over this weekend's Twitter hashtag #donatecalendarstoMayans . A nice irreverent start to the year, I think. :)

    I decided that yesterday was not going to be the first day of my new year. I disqualified it on account of the fact that I had to be at work -- and a very long, boring day at work at that. Today's not looking too promising either. I'm disqualifying today from being the beginning of my new year on account of below freezing windchill, sleep dep induced zombification, unfinished chores, the zits on my chin, and a general feeling of, "Ummm, no." I'll get around to starting my new year when I finally get a day right. Until then, I'm gonna hang out here in my own little dimension. It is not 2012 in my private little time warp. I hereby declare it to be Purple. For what it's worth, dwelling suspended in Purple comes with thick, warm socks.

  8. Purple...good choice, Rigel!

    My New Year was quiet and nice. Worked on a puzzle, read a book, watched the countdown on TV, went to bed about thirty seconds after that. A real party animal, aren't I?

    Deb, you've had a long 2011 based on what I've read here since finding you all and I think you made the right choice for you; you deserve to rest, as does Colin since he's been there for you and your parents, and so I say just embrace it, love it, be lazy when you can because I'm sure the rest of the time you are going 110%. Same to you Barb, you deserved a relaxing New Year as well!

    Hope everyone had a wonderful New Year's Eve and will have a perfect 2012! (2012? Really? Already? Man, I have a lot to get done this year...)

  9. I unpacked on new years eve until I was to tired and to sore to move. The little kids and the Hubby fell asleep some time after ten. I was in bed by 11:30 and from what my older boys told me, they were awake at midnight and they jumped around like lunatics quietly shouting Happy New Year to each other their room before going to bed a few minutes later. Welcome 2012!

  10. I dont blame you for going to bed early Deb. Like you all I am exausted. I partyed a little came around 1 and went to bed. I have worked 12 hour shifts for a week straight now and still have 1 more week to got then I go back to 9 hours so I know what you all mean about exausted. Glad you all had
    an,amazing new years eve and day

  11. Awww, Deb. I think it was good that you went to bed. Maybe you did want to stay up, but your body and soul need rest, too.

    I don't really like New Year's Eve...maybe because I always feel lonely and depressed. I think it's about being with the ones you love (since I don't have many friends, no one ever celebrates with me). It's about celebrating and having fun...

    The past years I couldn't celebrate the new year, because there was nothing to look forward to. Of course I had some really great experiences...but all in all my life just sucks.

    I often wanted to go to bed, and just on my own...but I never did it.

    This year I was alone with my parents. We had yummy Taco Salad (anyone wants the recipe?), and Chocolate Fondue afterwards.

    We went outside at midnight, and burnt some fireworks...

    I wish you and your families a happy new year. Please take care of yourselves. Hope you find time to relax and gather new strength. Hope you stay healthy.

    P.S. I feel terrible about whining all the time. Sorry...

  12. Deb, if it makes you feel any better, this was my parents' new year's eve: They both came upstairs at 7:30. Both got into pajamas. They said Happy New Year to each other. Then, my dad got into bed, my mother went back downstairs. Their body clocks are set differently, and they deal. What can you do?
    You and Colin deserve any break you can get. If you don't give it to yourselves, something else will do it for you. Your eyelids had the right idea. You got what you needed, and the new year came. It came just the same.

    This was the first year in a LONG time that I actually felt like going out and DOING something. The lack of funds prevented that, so I took my last few bucks of the year and headed to the grocery store. I was in search of the elusive Linzer tort cookies made by Pepperidge Farm. There's a spice in them that reminds me of something my mother makes called "Harvest Tealoaf." It's basically a pumpkin bread with chocolate chips and an icing/drizzle that is to DIE for. It hasn't been made this year, so I went looking for the next best thing... the scent.

    First store didn't have them. Got milk, ice cream, and half-off wrapping paper. Then I checked my statement at the ATM right at the end of the aisle. My check had been deposited!! Happy Holidays to me! And we're off to the races.

    Next stop-starbucks was closed. Gonna have to get me a gingerbread latte soon. Liquor store-tequila mix with the alcohol already in it, and Arbor Mist white zinfandel, mixed fruit. (For the wine drinkers out there, just so you know, this isn't wine. It's the Schlitz of the wine world. Cheap and does the trick.) Saw a $550 bottle of brandy. Even if I could afford it, it'd be a waste. Save it for someone who doesn't usually drink exotic fruit wine, with the pictures of the fruit actually ON the bottle.

    Two CVS failures in the Lintzer search. Next grocery store, still no cookies. However, the decision fairy decided to bless me and suddenly I was running around the store. (It was closing in 20 minutes, so running was a wise move, anyway.) Pepper Jack cheese, Paul Newman's medium salsa, tortilla chips. Last stop-Red Box, where I picked up "Battle-Los Angeles." Still haven't watched it, and am now donating funds to Red Box. :P

    A sense of accomplishment FINALLY achieved, home I went. And then.... food madness. I ate. I ate what was here, what wasn't here... hell, Barb's probably wondering where that extra batch of pancakes went. They went in me. Sorry 'bout that, Barb!

    I was up well past midnight, and celebrated with the cats. I had my food, and I had bought a blueberry muffin specifically for my 2 cats, who both LOVE them. Tell me they're not spoiled.

    I had today off because of the Sunday holiday. I get back to therapy group tomorrow. The one thing we all appreciate about the schedule is we get some structure from it. It's a good thing. I got dressed today for the first time since New Year's eve. Down time's over. Let's get it on.

    Hooray for strong coffee!!!!!!!!

  13. You see, Madge, that's why it's a potentially good idea--I did NOT wake up refreshed! And am probably still feelin' it :). Hence, Rigel, why my year also hasn't started yet. Must wait to feel myself again. And I agree with Steph -- purple is an excellent choice! (and thanks, Steph)

    Lyndsie, what with your recent accident, I can't imagine how exhausted you must feel -- and then you're also working that hard. Take care, sweetie!

    Becki, just wait -- the more you move forward with your purpose, the less you'll feel your life "sucks". As you can see, many of us choose to do small gestures on the Eve, but gestures that make us feel good. Thinking of you!!

    And Dawn, you completely embodied the spirit of doing what makes us feel good!! And you are a woman after my own heart. If I have special edible treats, that makes any evening special. Makes me as happy -- dare I say it -- as two cats and a blueberry muffin. So impressed with your determined (and rewarded) treasure hunt. (and PS, that extra batch of pancakes so went inside me.)

  14. My family has a traditional Good Luck dinner every year on Jan. first. I think it has something to do with our German roots. But we have the same meal of pork, sauerkraut, home-made dumplings, and mashed potatoes. It is supposed to bring us good luck for the year to come. Usually everyone also brings a small dish, be it a dessert or side dish.
    Sleep almost ruined my New Year’s Day dinner with my family. I didn’t go to bed until around 4:30 in the morning so naturally I didn’t end up waking up until almost 3 in the afternoon. I was due to be at my grandparents for dinner at 4 and I still had to make the pasta dish I was taking! If I was thinking ahead I would have set an alarm, but who would have guess I would need an alarm in order to be somewhere by 4 P.M.! Talk about rushing. LOL I ended up just 5 minutes late to dinner and all was well. : )
    Our traditional Good Luck dinner went off without a glitch!
    Happy 2012 Everyone.

  15. I'm tired And I am sore but I had to go back to work. If my knee would stop hurting I would b ok as far as physical pain then I would just b tired. I have to say that I am in less pain now that I was before which is alwats good. now if only you could get some sleep I would be ok. Thanks for the good wishes.Barb. :-)

  16. Resolutions:
    In addition to keeping my Get in the TARDIS:
    1. My son and I have agreed that beginning tonight, 2012 is the year we give up Burger King. Translation: no more dollar menu fast food for speed and convenience. No more $1 menu laziness.
    The 1 exception is that if we are with someone else and they make the choice to go to Burger King. We will not inflict our resolution on them.

    Eddie joined me in the resolution tonight after going with me to a book signing/talk given by Deborah Niemann. I HIGHLY recommend her book Homegrown & Handmade. Love it! Eddie was surprised to find that he enjoyed the talk, Q&A, etc. almost as much as I did!

    2. I will NOT be grotesquely fat when I turn 40.I am going to lose at least 90 pounds this year. Please note that I did not say "want to", "plan to," "hope to," or, "will try to." I WILL do it. Go ahead. Bet against me. I dare you. I will take that bet, take your money, and use it to fund my end of year tattoo. Bring it. Ante up.

    3. My above resolution is actually part of of my larger, more pervasive resolution for this year. This may seem superficial at first glance, but, upon giving it some thought, what I'm really going for is creating a healthy feedback loop. In 2012, I want to modify my outsides to match the insides I'm trying to evolve. I want to look how I want to feel (hence, helping me feel that way). This will involve weightloss, trying out new things with my hair, piercings/ear cuffs (I just got both sides upper cartilage pierced in my ears but, sadly, had to take them out after 2 weeks because the right one got torn during the night and swoll up hugely with pooling blood. OUCH. Omigosh, that sucked really badly. Owieowieowieowie. So, I'm refiguring on the ears thing. Looking at cuffs on etsy! :D), and an end of year tattoo around my right ankle (I'm torn between octopus with reaching tentacles or a colony of hermit crabs.) This also involves slowly weeding out all my irrepairably stained, torn, holy (not in the godly sense lol) clothes and sewing/thriftily acquiring clothing that is in good condition. No more dressing like a 2nd hand bag lady. And, there are dumb little things like I always feel better when my eyebrows are plucked. So, why is it that I often find excuses not to take the time to do that for myself? No more of that in 2012! (Isn't it silly how something as little as properly shaped eyebrows can be a pick me up?) Anyway, the resolution is to invest in my outsides in a healthy way in an effort to encourage healthy insides.

    4. Finish the big writing project I've taken on. This is the only resolution I'm really not sure about. This will probably be the very hardest thing.

    All of this, of course, will be slow going baby steps and wobbles. Habits and money - 2 powerful forces. But, I'm going for it!

    Habits I'd like to cultivate in 2012:
    1. Regularly listen to a diverse pool of podcasts (both educational and entertainment) as a further means of touching the outside world. I'm a highly visual person so developing an auditory habit is actually not an easy thing for me. It will literally involve training my brain to pay attention in a new way. But, there are too many awesome podcasts out there for me not to incorporate this resource in to my life.

    2. Markedly increase my cooking from scratch skills with things like mastering more homemade bread recipes and greater options with dried beans.

    3. Focus on getting back much of the French I have lost. More than just listening to internet radio out of France (I drive my son NUTS with that. lol), I guess I've got to actually crack back open 501 French Verbs, eh? lol I wish I could find (patient!) people to practice with.

  17. What I will do in 2012: Resolve to be here in 2013. It's as simple and difficult as that.

  18. i celebrated new year as i always do . with my parents ( i am an only child ) . going out here in Dublin is nuts . even pubs charge entrance fees.
    my day was normal until about 23-30 when i helped mom throw some snacks into the oven and as midnight arrived we were watching Irish television drinking champagne and eating what mom and i had cooked . after we sang auld langs syne i went outside to see if any neighbours were about , but none were . i looked at the stars in the sky instead , it was a very clear night so they were very easy to see . while i was outside i texted my boyfriend in england and my uncle and his partner in new york . i stayed awake until 5 am watching dvd's on my portable player . i was in bed i just couldn't sleep ! did'nt wake up until 2 pm the next day .

    my one and only new years resolution is the same as Rigel's more or less. my weight is totally out of control right now so i want to get back to weight watchers and start controlling it again . i don't normally make resolutions as i never keep them but this one i am keeping ! o yeah there is one other thing . i must try and find me a job . easier said then done with the recession and all that but never give up never surrender !

    p.s dawn i am much obliged for your letting me print out what you posted to the christmas tree trimming . it is stuck on my bedroom wall !

  19. Dawn you will be here in 2013 and you will have made huge strides. This is my wish for you. Rigel, I would NEVER bet against you girl. Good luck. I love all your plans, burger king included! Lyndsie, I am glad your pain is subsiding. One day at a time right? Especially with pain. Linda I find the first step in improving anything in myself is the resolve to do so. You've got that conquered so it's all uphill from here! Kelly I love that you call it a good luck dinner. So glad you made it!!!! Becki it is sooooooo okay to whine. Also, we don't look at it as whining. We look at it as getting stuff off your chest. Molly I love the sweetness of the kids jumping around with you guys sound asleep. Shalaka I am SO SORRY! I have never spelled your name wrong but the font on my ipad is too small and spreading it, just makes the sentences roll off the sides of the page so I am making boo boo's all the time. I have tried to use only my ipad as an experiement (because my computer is dying a not so slow death) but it is not working for me as a full service unitl. Getting a Macbook Air in a few weeks.

  20. Oh and sorry I wasn't around yesterday but I was prepping for a party we were hosting and running around. Madge and Steph I posted a comment to you guys thanking you for your good wishes from my iphone but I don't see it here. Arggghhhhhhhh. So...thanks.

  21. My Grandma was released from hospital today! :) Hope she's fine...would love to help her, but I know they would reject help. I'm trying anyway.


    1. Read more
    2. Write more
    3. Do more geocaching (like: more trips to Mother Nature plus meeting my geocaching friends)
    4. Lose weight.
    5. Take more pictures
    6. Be more positive! Deb, I appreciate it that you accept my whining...but I know I tend to annoy people with it. Besides, let's look on the bright side of life! =)

    Oh, and I try to not go to fast food places anymore...the last time I've been to Mc Donald's was...hell, I don't even know!

  22. Rigel, your resolutions are truly inspirational. We are all pulling for you (and I admire your courage to flat out say it and aim for it, soooo beautiful!)

    Dawn, "as simple and difficult as that". That has been echoing with me ever since I read it. No words, but lots of love. We believe.

    Becki, excellent resolutions! Good luck!!


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