Can you believe we’re almost to New Year’s Eve already? It seems like not too long ago I was sharing my half year review, now I’m thinking about what to write in my year-end review this Sunday!
As my husband and I sit here making our yearly last minute plans for the occasion, I can’t help but think about one New Year’s Eve in particular. It was one of those moments when adulthood really snuck up on me and I realized that I wasn’t the care-free 20 year old I had been.
When I was running the other blog I had shared this particular story, hoping that there would be others who could relate to that crushing sensation that we are now adults. What I found was that we have all had those moments, and they just keep coming with more and more frequency as time goes on.
Today, I would like to share that story here exactly as it ran on December 31, 2014, and remind you all that just because we’re not “cool” anymore, doesn’t mean that we don’t still rock in our own ways. We’re just a different kind of cool now!
Without further ado, here’s the story of the time I realized I was no longer cool.
New Year’s Eve kind of snuck up on me this year. It seems like I have been busy from October on. It all started with my daughter’s birthday, which was then followed by Halloween, a few other get-togethers, the Motley Crue concert, Thanksgiving, and the about 8 million Christmas gatherings.
My house is still a wreck from all the holiday hoopla and now it’s time to break out the champagne and watch the clock. I have no idea where the time went, but I do know that it’s only 10 A.M. and I am already exhausted.
|Is staying up ’til midnight mandatory?
With all the talk of plans and parties and resolutions, I find myself thinking back to previous New Year’s Eves. Of the 8 times Almost-Husband and I have rung in the New Year together, there is one celebration that really sticks out in my mind.
My daughter was about 2 months old for her first New Year’s Eve. We hadn’t made any plans as I was still getting used to this whole motherhood thing and wasn’t quite feeling up to par. Well, that and the fact that Almost-Husband and I are chronic procrastinators.
Being a hormonal mess added to my reluctance to do anything to celebrate. I remember feeling lonely and left out as I read everyone’s Facebook updates, showing me everything I was missing out on. I felt trapped and unwanted. I also felt tired. Extremely tired. I wasn’t sure I’d even make it to midnight or that I’d be able to enjoy myself knowing that my precious baby was spending her first New Year’s without her mommy.
Some friends of ours friends from out of town called while I was sitting around trying to figure out whether or not I should leave my daughter with someone for the night. They invited us to join them for a party they were going to about 30 minutes away. I declined, using the excuse that I didn’t have the time to pump enough milk for The Princess. I told Almost-Husband to go without me. I didn’t want him to miss out just because I couldn’t go.
I immediately regretted that decision once he was gone. I sat around feeling sorry for myself, wishing I could go out and have a good time with my friends. I’m not going to lie, I cried a little bit. Soon, I was on the phone to Almost-Husband. We decided that I would call up his mother and see if she’d watch the little one and I’d drive up and meet him.
I remembered that the year before I had showed up to a party with this same group of friends only to find that I was completely under dressed and immediately ran upstairs to rummage through my closet. All my nicest clothes were still much too small.
I called Almost-Husband again in tears. I had nothing to wear. I was going to look ridiculous. I should probably just stay home.
He assured me that things would be okay and that I’d find something to wear. I can’t remember what he said verbatim, but he gave me a pep talk, reminding me that he thinks I’m beautiful and that people will understand that I just had a baby. I hung up the phone feeling much better and settled on a pair of beige maternity dress pants and a low cut red sweater. I went back downstairs with my little one and did my hair and makeup, calling Almost-Mother-In-Law in the process to let her know I would be on my way shortly.
After dropping off my daughter I drove the 30 minutes with the radio cranked up, enjoying some alone time. This was going to be a good night. About 5 minutes from my destination I started to worry about my daughter. I felt guilty. It was a holiday, she should be with her mommy.
As I pulled up to the building where the party was being held, I noticed all the people coming and going. Nobody was dressed up “nice”. Instead they looked more or less like this…
|Yes, short skirts in the dead of winter makes total sense.
The few people who were “dressed up” were showing way more skin than I would ever be comfortable with. Hair was perfect, makeup was fabulous. Here I was with my hair left in it’s naturally curly state, my usual neutral makeup, and a plain khaki and sweater combo.
I suddenly felt old and out of place. I parked the car and decided that I wouldn’t stay long. I’d just spend a few minutes catching up with my friends and then I’d go home. I caught up with Almost-Husband and he tried to put me at ease.
Once inside, we found ourselves standing off to the side alone. I couldn’t drink since I was breastfeeding as well as driving us home. Everyone seemed to be in such a different place in their lives than we were. It was strange, just a year ago this would have been right up our alley. However, we were parents now and our priorities had changed. The more we talked, the more we didn’t want to be there.
We stuck it out until midnight, did the countdown, shared a kiss and were out the door. We hopped in the car and drove back home, laughing at ourselves. A new era had indeed arrived.
When we got to his mother’s they were all still awake. Almost-Mother-In-Law was shocked to see us. “I can’t believe you guys are home already! Did you even drive up there?” She asked with a laugh.
I quickly grabbed my baby and comforted myself with her snuggles. “Everyone there was like 12,” we told her, explaining how strange it was to not fit into a place we would have been all about not so long ago. She laughed with us. Here she had given us a night to ourselves and all we wanted to do with it was love on our baby.
The next year we chose to ring in the new year with a few friends at home, while my mother watched The Princess at her house just a few blocks away. This year, we will be spending New Year’s Eve as a family with another couple and their child. A nice, low-key get-together that I am really looking forward to. It’s such a huge contrast to how we spent New Year’s Eve before we became parents.
So many things have changed in our lives since The Princess came along. Our life now barely resembles our pre-parenthood days and I’m not going to lie, I miss parts of it. However, I can’t imagine ever going back to the way things were. Things may not be perfect, but my life now is far more enjoyable then it was back then. We have a purpose. We have a sense of direction and stability that we had previously lacked. Life is good.
2014 had it’s share of challenges, but I feel we’ve learned a great deal from the tough times. We also had some amazingly wonderful times. The year has been full of love and laughter and growth. I can only hope that 2015 is just as good!