NYE Sailing

Take 10,000 steps. Daily.

Lose 5, 10, 20 – a million pounds.

The usual suspects line up like children waiting to be picked for a team.

Go to the gym.

Clean. Read more. “Doomscroll” less

Waiting, like lambs to the slaughter.

Find the patience to teach other family members to do the same. Organize my…. well, my everything. 

Be everything to everyone – especially to myself — and look perfect while doing it all.

Happy New Year

Happy Most-Overhyped-New-Hangover-Day, the lose-lose of holidays. Too much pressure to have a magical evening.

Every New Year’s Eve wherever we are, my family has a ritual. We — okay, my kids and husband – build a “Viking Ship” into which we put slips of paper. The papers contain words. Words that represent a habit, a trait, certain negative thoughts, … upon occasion,– the name(s) of a person/people …. that we would like to leave behind in the year that’s closing.

In the interest of honesty and to give you an idea of the kindergarten-level arts and crafts aesthetic, an empty milk carton serves as the boat’s hull. It’s not meant to be art – it’s meant to be cathartic.

For as long as I’ve known him, my husband has referred to New Year’s Eve as “Amateur Drinking Night,” when “teetotalers suddenly chug bottles of champagne.” Combine this truism with our familial disdain for being told when and how to have fun, inflated restaurant prices and disgust at the notion of puking partygoers, and you’re left with limited options on December 31st.

So, my history-loving husband saved us from the banal with his interpretation of Viking lore.

“According to Viking lore – and not just Game of Thrones – slain warriors were sent off to the next life aboard a flaming Long Ship.”

“Okay….,” after almost two decades together the fact that my husband can still surprise me is a good thing…most of the time.

“So, let’s adapt that tradition and instead of corpses, let’s send our troubles off to a fiery death … on New Year’s Eve.”

Sometimes, when I fear his warped mind most… he comes up with the best ideas.

Thus, for the past decade or so we spend time ranting against our internal demons, while exchanging barbs. We reminisce about the closing year. We’ve laughed, mourned the passing of pets and occasionally of people. We reflect. It’s personal – sharing is not required – reminiscing inevitable.  It’s oddly cathartic to cast these words into the water.

At home, our pool hosts our flaming ship. When we’re away, we’ve made do with a bathtub, and once, it’s possible we may, may have trespassed onto a private man-made lake.  

So, what did I put on my slip of paper this year? What did I want cast into the water on New Year’s Eve 2021?

Impossible expectations.

1 thoughts on “NYE Sailing

  1. ProfRobert says:

    I dunno. I have had some great (or at least interesting) NYE’s. Most recently was 2019 when Wife, Son and I were in Reykjavik, where they celebrate with bonfires all over town to beat back against the cold and dark — it was truly awesome and beautiful. I’ve been in Times Square twice, once on the street with my girlfriend in 1984 (a bit scary), and 21 years later with a different girlfriend in my office’s conference room with big picture windows overlooking everything. A couple of years in the ’90s I was on a roof on Central Park West with a front row for the fireworks over the park. There was also the odd experience in 1990 of being by myself in a “crowd” of about 200 people by a pedestrian mall’s clock tower on a warm night in Perth, Australia. Then a few years later, I went to NYE wedding in Santa Barbara, where I managed to hook up with one of the bride’s work colleagues. That was pretty awesome, too.

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