There I was at the dawn of a brand new day, a brand new year! 365 days laid ahead of us. The Monday of months was upon us. Unlimited opportunity thrown at our feet… and I felt like shit.
Why did we do this to ourselves? Why did we carry on societal traditions that brought us into the first day of a new year feeling like we had gotten run over by a semi hauling another semi… twice?
It made me question the intelligence of my fellow species.
Yet there I was, embarking on the first page in the book of 2016, feeling like complete shit. What had I done to warrant such agony? Rang in the New Year with one too many drinks? Partied like it was 1999? Screamed at the top of my lungs at a rocking New Years Eve bash?
I had stayed home for New Years Eve this year. Home with my hubby and my kids, my step-kids and my grand-kids. There was no watching the ball drop on TV. No sparkling grape juice that made my preteen son feel so adult drinking out of little plastic wine glasses. No crazy loud noise makers.
We had a quiet night at home last night. By 8pm hubby and I were in our bed watching movies, counting down the many hours until the clock struck midnight. The babies were fast asleep, all snug in their beds. This was the first year that a nearby town was holding it’s very own ball drop. I wanted to go so badly, but Peanut was still too sick to risk taking out into the cold. So were the grand-kids. This time, there was no choice but to shrug and say, “well… next time.”
By 9pm my eyelids were so heavy, propping them up with a two by four was becoming a very real prospect. Creeping downstairs through the silence of the house to fetch a drink, I came upon my son sitting at the computer. Half the screen showed the impressive structure he built on Minecraft that he planned to explode with fireworks as the clock struck midnight, the other half displayed a countdown ticking away… ever so slowly.
“I’m the only one celebrating New Years,” my son piped up, a hint of sadness trickling through his voice.
“No you’re not dear, Mom and Dad are just upstairs watching movies until it gets a little closer to midnight and then we’ll come down and celebrate with you,” I reassured him as I went into the kitchen, dismissed the water I had intended to get, and instead grabbed a large cup of coffee.
At 12:08 I sat up gawking at the clock as I raced downstairs to welcome my son into the new year.
Thankfully the coffee had done the trick, I had stayed focused on the movie we were watching. A little too focused. I squeezed my son to my side, kissing his forehead and telling him that next year there’s an awesome ball drop we’ll go to. Next year will be so awesome. This year kind of sucked, but we’ll more than make up for it next year. Grinning he said, “Happy New Years Mom,” and raced off to bed. I crawled back up to my own bed, snuggled under the covers and watched the rest of our movie, waiting patiently for dreamland to find me.
It didn’t. There I lay as 1 o’clock rolled around. 2 o’clock. 3 o’clock. By 4am I gave up and got out of bed. Got dressed. Went downstairs. And made a fresh pot of coffee. If I was going to do bright and early, I might as well do it right!
As I watched the insanities of Family Guy, I pulled down our ornaments. Unwrapped the garland. Took down the tree. I packed away the lights and other decorations we had laced around our living room.
Our house was so quite as I worked through the night. I moved couches and rugs, dusted and swept. I rearranged furniture and cleared cobwebs that hung from above. At last the living room looked cozy and clean, and I sat down and waited, until my husband had seen.
I heard his loud footsteps and got somewhat excited. At least as excited as an overly caffeinated 30 something year old who had just pulled an all nighter could feel. He appeared in the living room and with a soft smile said…
“I see you took some pictures down.”
I sat in my sweat soaked sweater and stared. Was he not all the way awake, or was his head full of air? I looked around the living room at the couches I had moved, the tv stand I had rearranged and the spaces I had cleared. I looked at my husband, who was sweet in his own way and “I sure did,” was all I managed to say.
With that I sat down on the newly moved couch, in my rearranged living room, in my all too quiet house. As Family Guy played on the TV, dreamland had quickly, but finally, found me.
I awoke a few hours later sluggish and slouchy. I did all that I could to not appear grouchy. My head throbbed. The sun shone too bright. The living room was still clean, sorta… well, it was alright.
I stumbled to coffee. I stumbled to the couch. I stumbled through New Years Day, trying not to be a grouch.
That’s when I started to wonder why we did this to ourselves. Why we stayed up so late and partied and celebrated. Why we brought in the New Years with societal traditions that we thought were so nice, just to wake up feeling like we got ran over by a semi hauling another semi… twice.
And that’s when it hit me, like the thud of a speeding train, I was getting too old, to pull an all nighter ever again.
In other news: Today is Rah’s Mirror one year WordPress blogging anniversary!!! Woot woot! Here’s to another fantastic year with all of you!