New Year is traditionally the time when we say goodbye to the old, hello to the new and make the decisions and resolutions we aim to keep for the next twelve months.
Gym memberships are purchased, diets are started, alcohol is given up and new leaves are turned over. New Year for many means it's the kick start that they need to try for a new career, to study, to travel or even to just sit back and reevaluate all that they have. Some make the decision to leave their partner, others make the decision to finally settle down and accept each other for what they are, and for others, it's time to give up on all things romantic and fall head over heels in love with themselves. I've tried all of these things at New Year and to be truthful, none of them seem that new to me anymore.
It can be difficult to not succumb to the lure of the pub and the nightclub on New Year's Eve. The lull of those 'in between' days from Christmas Eve to NYE can be hard to take, it's the awful anti-climax after the tinsel, turkey and all it's trimmings which makes us want to have one last blow out before the chimes of Big Ben, but I have always found it a time of enforced hilarity and celebration. It's akin to turning up at your favorite store on the opening day of its sale only to find you've left your wallet on the kitchen table. You rush through the door, start elbowing people out of the way, tearing things from the rails and digging through piles of cashmere sweaters like a dog digging for a bone, only to find you never had the cash to pay for what you wanted in the first place. You find yourself getting hot and sweaty, chewing your tongue and gritting your teeth whilst in the company of people you normally wouldn't be seen dead with, and there you stand at the end of it all, wild eyed and fighting with a complete stranger over the same winter coat.
The only difference is in a nightclub on NYE you'll probably be fighting with the cloakroom attendant over a coat that is rightfully yours, but you've drunkenly lost the cloakroom ticket for.
I've realized that the start of a new year is more a time for reflection rather than going out, downing shots, being sick on my favourite shoes and then trying desperately to find a cab home. Spending the newest day of the newest year with my head down a toilet bowl is hardly the best way to ring in the changes and embrace the more user friendly me, and the last thing I want to be doing when I embark on my mission to start a new life, is trying to find some loose change on the walk of shame home.
Also, New Years Eve was traditionally the time when complete strangers took the opportunity to kiss you on the lips and put their arms around you, nowadays it's the perfect time of year for complete strangers to kiss you on the lips, give you a cold sore or the norovirus and then steal your handbag.
It's no fun when you look to your wrist on the stroke of midnight only to realize someone's made off with your Rolex, and that really handsome stranger who whispered "Happy New Year" to you after your sixth Champagne cocktail? He's just stolen your earrings. So it's "Happy New Year" to you and some lovely new ear candy for him.
I'm trying not to be jaded about New Years Eve and I truly believe it's healthy to let go of the old and be open to new experiences, new people and new beginnings but this year I don't think I'll find them in a bottle of tequila or on the edges of a dance floor. I'll probably find them sitting quietly at home, alone and reading a book. I'm not being wistful or enforcing some kind of solitary confinement upon myself, I just find that as I've got older that the beginning of a new year is a time when I really do have to take the time to say goodbye to actions or feelings that have held me back, and to reevaluate what I need and where I want to be in the future.
Youth and ambition can make it easy to discard anything that has served it's purpose but age and experience have softened me, so now instead of being cut-throat and cynical, I'm trying more and more to be soft tongued and lyrical. I'm not saying that every day is going to be like a Disney movie, I'm just going to try to live life a bit more like Snow White, rather than always pretending to be the big bad wolf.
After all, Snow White is a rather good role model for tolerance and acceptance isn't she? She lived with seven tiny little men of questionable appearance, some with bad manners and suspect lifestyle choices and she was also very open to talking to the elderly and vulnerable.
I think what I'll do is spend this new year's alone, rereading the story of Snow White and trying to learn some life lessons from her tale. Although from what I remember she was hardly a paragon of upwardly mobile ambition was she? This girl was hardly a 'go-getter.' In fact, she took advantage of every situation she was in and if anything she used her looks and charm to manipulate people to get what she wanted.
Which is exactly the type of person who'd steal your handbag and your earrings in a nightclub on New Years Eve...