Happy New Year!
I hope that you have all had a lovely one. I am sorry that I have been quiet but I have been away on holiday and I always struggle at this time of year. I think it’s called the “New Year Overwhelm”. Yes, I might be making terms up now.
What New Year’s Eve Was Like Pre-Children
Pre-children, I would have felt the pressure to mark the impending New Year’s Day by going out somewhere hideously expensive on New Year’s Eve. There was the New Year’s Eve I spent queuing outside to get into a Weatherspoons. I think I may have even had to pay to get inside. When we were finally inside I spent my evening drinking, feet sticking to the floor, with an overwhelming sense of claustrophobia as I surveyed my surroundings. Then there was the year I rang in the New Year standing in Millennium Gardens in Sheffield, surrounded by friends. All was going well until my then boyfriend started sulking that I was having too much fun with my friends and I wasn’t giving him enough attention. He insisted that we went home. That should have spelt the end of that relationship but instead it dragged on for another torturous three years.
Why I Put So Much Pressure On My New Year’s Eve
I had always viewed New Year’s Eve as an indicator of how the rest of my year would turn out, and as a result I felt under pressure to make it as amazing as possible, and it never was. Something always had a habit of going wrong or it would just turn out to be rather flat. New Year’s Eve always turns out to be disappointing because one evening can never really be that good. No one evening can predict the rest of our year for us. It was only after meeting Mr C that I felt less pressure to make New Year’s Eve amazing. One year, about a year after we had started dating and I was back at university training to be a teacher, we decided to book a trip away to Scotland. We found a cottage that was unfathomably cheap. We realised when we arrived that the reason for its cheapness turned out to be the fact that it was literally in the middle of nowhere, perched in the corner of a public car park opposite some toilets. At night-time those toilets came alive and it seemed a very popular meeting place….
A Scottish New Year’s Eve
That tiny cottage with its views over the car park was the perfect way to ring in the New Year. We spent our days driving around lochs and at night we retreated to our cottage in front of the log year. New Year’s Eve rolled around and we had grand plans of cooking a Jamie Oliver fish recipe. I was going to impress Mr C with my culinary skills, only the cottage oven didn’t work properly and everything was hideously undercooked. As a result, our dinner consisted of asparagus, just asparagus, and lashings of wine. Being a lightweight and not having much dinner I became very tipsy. That New Year’s Day was spent with me pushing my head against the cool bathroom tiles as I intermittently watched Uncle Buck on the television. I swore that I would never drink again, obviously that soon became a distant memory and I did drink again.
What My New Year’s Eve Is Like Now
Post-children and New Year’s Eve consists of a modest amount of wine. With two very loud girls there is no way I could reasonably parent with a hangover. Post-children, drinking less alcohol is not the only thing that changes, your feelings change too. Am I the only one who now embraces a weird mix of feelings? On the one hand, I feel very lucky to be here, to have my family and I no longer feel the pressure to make it amazing. However, I also find myself feeling sad and overwhelmed. I spend it reflecting, thinking about those who don’t have someone and the loss of loved ones. Whereas before I was excited for a new year to begin, now I feel a mixture of excitement and unease. I see the whole year yawning ahead of me and it scares but also excites me that I have no idea what this year will bring. Where will we be this time next year? Where do we want to be? My slight trepidation might also be linked to the age I turn this year. Let’s just say 21 again. The real age makes me shudder as I still don’t feel like I have adulthood nailed.
New Year On Jersey?
This year the mixture of feelings has been compounded by our return to the island. Yes, I love Jersey but I still find it an incredibly difficult place to live. This wasn’t helped by our return from the sunny climes of the Caribbean to what was the fog, never-ending rain and storms. As we came into land on Jersey we found the island hidden under a heavy blanket of fog and as a result the plane circled several times as it tried to land. For a moment it looked like we might have to return to Gatwick and I wasn’t sure if this would have pleased me or not. We did manage to land and we were greeted by freezing rain that drenched us as soon as we stepped off the plane. 24 hours previously I had been basking in sunshine and now I found myself back on the stormy shores of Jersey.
New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day were spent in a tired jet-lag fog and a certain melancholia set over the house as we huddled inside, yet, I felt happy too and there was no other place I would rather have been. I am infinitely grateful for the fact that my New Years are now spent with my family, I am grateful that I have a family to spend it with and I really need to stop taking them for granted. A week later and the rain still continues to pour down outside, but I’m determined not to let this weather get me down. I know that I need to make 2018 our best year yet. The most important resolution I can make to myself is to put family time first because who knows what life has in store for us. For me, it’s not just about having a Happy New Year but it’s also about having a Healthy New Year too.
Here’s to a Healthy New Year.