It’s New Year’s Eve – Do You Know Where Your Party Is?

I hate New Year’s Eve.  Not the concept, but the event.  It’s one of those high-expectation holidays that rarely lives up to the hype.   You know, like almost every holiday that society tells us should be amazing every time (just wait ’til you hear me on Valentine’s Day…).  Add to that being single in Manhattan, and this is a night that takes proper planning.

So I stay in.  Every year.  I’ve developed a great routine, and as much as I love my friends, I consistently turn down invitations to spend New Year’s Eve on my couch, with my cats.

Where the cats spend New Year's Eve...

After at least one Bikram class, I head home to cook a great meal, open a bottle of wine (or pour something stronger), watch a movie… you get the picture.  And then, at midnight, I take little slips of paper and write on each one something to let go of in the New Year…these papers will either be sent flying into the wind from the roof, or, if I’m feeling lazy, burned.  I shared this with a group of friends one New Year’s and the results were…well, suffice it to say, I never brought it up again.

My dear friend suggested a change in the ritual for this year, and I think I’m going to try it.  Rather than write what I don’t want…I’m going to write (and burn) what I do want.  There are names for this ritual, and she did tell me, but I admit, I’ve already forgotten.  (A., feel free to remind me!)  I don’t do resolutions, but this sounds like a great idea to me.

What are you planning for NYE?  What are your rituals?  Whatever you may do, enjoy, be safe, and see you in 2012!

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Wine, Cheese, Nuts, And New Beginnings

I live in New York.  Upstate Manhattan, actually.  Since before it was cool and they began writing musicals about my nabe… And I travel a lot, both for work and for fun.  When I travel, I always take slippers.  One of my sisters recently laughed at this habit, even though she also travels…a lot.  Well, you’ve stayed in hotels.  You know that while you see those vacuums in the hall, you never see the hall being vacuumed.  It’s the same theory that reminds you to take off that old quilted bedcover before climbing into your hotel bed.

Traveling as much as I do is both a joy and a chore.  Obviously, there’s the packing thing, which I do in two ways.  The first is a lengthy process, involving taking many outfits out, trying them all on, and planning each ensemble.  The second is “day of” panic packing, which is becoming the trend as I travel even more.  The panic packing seems to suit the person I am right now, while the planned packing was mostly a reflection of my (continued) fear of flying.  After the packing thing, there is the pet care thing, the leaving a clean apartment thing, and worst of all… the airport thing.

Each trip becomes a time capsule of its particular experience.  I’m not even sure what that means, or why it happens, just that it does.

I have been in the process of re-inventing myself for the last 12 months or so. I feel like for the first time, I am allowing myself to be the person I was always meant to be.  I’m being much more social in my own particularly odd way (this will be detailed in future entries about the life of a single-by-choice woman); claiming my place at work; asserting myself with my family; and through it all, wearing slippers.  As I change, the one constant has been those slippers.  The travel pair, and of course, the stay-at-home pair.  They are a touchstone of normality in a life that, despite my best efforts, sometimes seems to spiral out of control.  When I’m feeling a little too on edge, I can curl up with a book, the computer, the iPad, even just my iPhone, wearing my slippers, and find a calmness that otherwise I only find in savasana.  (Yes, I’m also an avid Bikram yogini – the other constant in my work and travel lives.)

So tonight, as I shared wine, cheese and mixed nuts with a dear friend, and after some weeks  of having my life dissected with disapproval, I decided to tell my story.  I have yet to find the book, blog, or column that acknowledges the existence of a woman like me (and Candace Bushnell, you got it wrong), so please join me as I pontificate, ramble, whine, celebrate, and of course, travel with slippers.

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