I’m just here, in front of my computer, wearing my Minnie Mouse pajamas, in other words my typical work-at-home attire.
I haven’t done anything special for New Year’s in ages.
There was a time (long ago and far, far away) when I couldn’t imagine New Year’s Eve without getting all dressed up, going to a nightclub or party, dancing the night away and getting at least a little bit plastered. These days, what I can’t imagine is how I managed to wear those @#$% high heel shoes all night. No wonder my feet are all messed up now.
For a time, while I was slowly evolving into a recluse except I didn’t realize it yet, I’d at least watch the Times Square thing on TV. But for several years in a row I’ve ended up fast asleep well before the big count-down. I know. This is a sad, sad state of affairs. Got to make some serious changes this year!
My mother used to say, whatever you do on New Year’s Day, you’ll end up doing all year. Dad would indulge in his hourly scotch-on-the-rocks anyway, Filipino superstitions be damned. But sure enough, Mr. Know-it-all Americano would always end up drinking way too much for the whole rest of the year.
Mom expected her children to stay home all day, and she chided anyone in the house that argued or otherwise spoke or behaved badly. She liked the house to be in perfect shape for New Year’s — no small feat even for her three maids, considering that she’d had her entire extended family over to visit since before Christmas.
There was always another feast on the table (the third one of the holiday season as my American father insisted on observing Thanksgiving) to make sure that no one would go hungry in the coming year. Mom had some extremely poor relatives, and functioned somewhat like the family Godmother, doling out loans and accepting heirloom jewelry and sometimes even a term of child labor as collateral. (Yes, I'm afraid you read that right.) But everyone knew better than to ask her for a loan until after New Year’s Day.
Mom’s long gone (so is Dad), and my link to her extended family is long gone as well. I live in Albuquerque, not the Philippine Islands. I have a democracy-oriented, mostly western-world mind-set and I certainly don’t live the prosperous life that my mother did -- but I guess customs you liked to begin with have a way of sticking with you for life.
So, earlier, I finished a tin matches box with aluminum embossing that I've been fiddling around with for weeks, in hopes of being industrious all year. I washed dishes promptly and tidied up in the house, since I’m notoriously bad at housekeeping. I tried to be positive all day, as I’m the type of person that was probably born scowling cynically at my half-empty baby bottle.
Last but not least, I made a short, not-too-idealistic, New Year’s Resolution list:
1. Stick to my fresh whole-foods, anti-cancer diet all year (if not the rest of my life).
2. Exercise! At least make it to the pool 2-3 times a week.
3. Get up from my work table every hour or two and move around.
4. Get on the waiting list for one of those subsidized apartments across town.
5. Find an insurance-approved counselor that can teach me how to make friends.
6. Go out somewhere to explore at least once a month.
Argh! That reminds me! I should have gone out for at least a little while. One of my two e-friends suspects I’ve got agoraphobia. Must think of someplace to go that’s semi-fun this afternoon, so that I don’t wind up proving her right in 2016.