So. New Years Eve.
It’s been eventful.
There was the year I dressed up as a fairy, slept the night at a friends pub and then crushed lemon sherbets into the scrambled eggs the next morning after the boys decided that breakfast-making was the perfect opportunity to enforce traditional gender roles.
The year we stayed at a friend’s flat in Edinburgh and, unable to face the street party, decided to climb out of the skylight and chim-chim-cheree around on the rooftops instead.
Or the year I was on holiday in a beautiful Welsh cottage. With wine and an open fire. And Wes continually informing me that he was absolutely not going to propose. A promise which he kept. Who said romance is dead?
New Year’s Eve can be tricky. At the best of times. Even without that nagging beast called anxiety snapping at your sky-high heels. The double-edged pressure to have the-best-night-ever, swiftly followed by entirely-turning-your-life-around-on-the-stroke-of-midnight can make it a little hard to breathe. Let alone make a sensible, well-informed decision.
The internet’s been full of it today. ‘Simple’ canapes made of quails eggs, roasted Sicilian tomatoes and unicorn horn. How to match your nail varnish to your party dress without it looking too ‘matchy.’ And where to find the perfect dress for your figure. Because god forbid you choose the same one that you wore for Christmas.
It’s all a bit much. Quite a bit. And it’s way too easy to end up feeling like a failure. Without the right outfit. Or snacks. Or resolutions.
In the interest of balance – here’s our plan. How to have an epic New Years Eve. Just like us. You are so welcome.
Admittedly, we did manage to leave the house. We went to Hughenden, in a fit of thank-goodness-the-sun-is-finally-shining combined with a desperate attempt to burn off some of the kids’ insatiable energy.
We spent the afternoon searching for tiny knitted mice in Disraeli’s staterooms. Eating our picnic on the sly in the cafe, because it was absolutely freezing outside. And, in the case of the children, at least, sliding repeatedly down the hills. On their bums.
It’s possible that I also landed flat on my backside in a massive pile of leaves after a small child’s stepping stone proved to be significantly slipperier than I had bargained for. Seeing out the old year with a bang. And all the accompanying bruises.
By the time we got home the children were eighty per-cent mud. And twenty per-cent illicit Wotsits. And I was so far beyond freezing that I had to get straight in the shower in order to feel my fingers. It’s currently twenty-past six, on New Year’s Eve, and I’ve been in my pyjamas for at least half an hour. Get in.
The kids are in the bath now. After a plate of beans on toast. Ready for a ‘special New Year’s staying-up-night’ which, given the state of my PMT and their crazy wild behaviour, will be over by eight o’clock at the latest.
At which point Wes and I will get a kebab from the chicken shop down the road, have a glass of wine and watch the telly.
My guess is, that by the time 2016 arrives in all it’s glory, I’ll have been asleep for at least two hours.
I haven’t made any resolutions. I probably won’t. I’d like to be braver. And fitter. And kinder. But I wanted those things just as much last week as I will tomorrow. Carving them in stone will only make me feel guilty. And resentful. And set me up for a failure of epic proportions.
Cos here’s the thing. Midnight tonight changes everything. And nothing. All at the same time.
We’ll wake up tomorrow the same people. All of us. Albeit in 2016 and, in our house at least, with some new bruising and a washing machine full of muddy jogging bottoms.
Unless you had a baby this morning, (and I’ve counted at least two so far!) tomorrow is going to look pretty similar to today.
New Year’s Eve, when all is said and done, is just. another. day.
Just. another. night.
Whatever happens. No matter how fancy your party. Or how well your shoes match your vol-au-vents.
Parties are great. I think. From what I remember of them. And I applaud each and every person who wants to make a positive change in their lives.
It’s fun to put up a new calendar. And see how far I get through this year before I can manage to write the new date correctly.
But putting so much pressure on one night is madness. Or the path to it, at least.
May I suggest, instead, a huge heartfelt pat-on-the-back for all of us. For making it through another year. And all that we’ve had to deal with.
There’s a whole new one starting tomorrow. And we’ll make it through that as well. Together. Whatever it throws at us.
I might have an early night in preparation.