Thursday, January 1, 2015

Ringing in 2015: A Different Celebration

My favourite Christmas followed by one of the most memorable New Year's Eve celebrations of my whole life. You could say I'm pretty lucky...

This year, for a number of reasons, our celebration was a little different.

In the past, New Year's Eve - not to mention the days and weeks prior - were marked by the pursuit of balance... A spectacular balance of glitz, glamour, and hype (that is). 

There would be plenty of research and discussion:
Should we buy tickets to a gala? A quiet lounge? Should we throw a party? Go to a bar? Should we try and squeeze in all four? What will we drink? What will we wear?! 
I have to admit. Re-reading the above makes me shudder.

You may be wondering:
What's wrong with making a solid plan for New Year's Eve?
Nothing! Absolutely nothing at all.

Let me be clear: I love planning!

It is not the planning of celebrations past that I feel discomfort towards. That said, when I read or think about the planning process that I previously engaged in, I quite honestly begin to feel my blood pressure rising. Planning was marked by anxiety, expectancy, and seemingly unavoidable pressure.

Don't get me wrong, I have never had a "bad" New Year's Eve. Each year, I felt blessed to be surrounded by family and friends.

The problem is (was!) the following:
I wrongfully believed that "the plan" was what New Year's Eve was all about.
I could not have been more mistaken.

As mentioned above: this year, our celebration was a little different. We decided to have a New Year's Eve Pyjama party!
Laid back. Care-free. Prepare a snack if you have the time. Pack some alcohol if you plan on drinking. Come by whenever. Leave whenever.
Let's just all be together.
(I feel the need to mention that Sam and I still had glitter nail polish. And there was certainly still champagne. Laid back... with some sparkle.) 
Ready for our New Year's Eve Pyjama Party (naturally I made us wear onesies)!
Because our plan was quite easygoing as compared to years prior, I was given the opportunity to gain an understanding. Finally, I recognized the insignificance of the things I previously deemed significant. Where you are and what you are doing at the moment in time when one year transitions into another. 

At one point during our evening, during a game of drawful (also known as the best game ever, included in this party pack), while laughing uncontrollably, I looked around the room, both peaceful and awestruck:
This is what New Year's Eve is all about.
Reflecting on the year that has passed (the good and the bad). Setting an intention for the year to come. Being surrounded by family and friends. Knowing that you can cry, laugh, and share your dreams. Feeling both present and completely understood.

In one moment of stillness, I felt movement. A shift within myself. Finally, a greater understanding. 

Next year, when Sam is perfectly healthy, we may opt to buy those tickets to the New Year's Eve Gala. But the plan won't matter. Only the people will. 
Happy in my bunny onesie. 
Now for the fun part:

We shared favourite recipes. I made this dip, and it was a huge hit. Brian and Mel's spread of cheese, fruit and charcuterie guaranteed that we could not stop eating (even when it hurt...). The meatballs Jeff made were heavenly. So good that I can't write about them without running the risk that I'll try and make them for dinner... And be underwhelmed. My biggest regret was being too full to eat one of Laura's dessert bars... Have I shared enough about food yet?

We played games. We snuggled on the couch. We took group pictures. I accidentally walked into the wrong apartment (in my bunny onesie...) while meeting Laura and Matt downstairs. We spilled drinks on my (and for some reason, only my) onesie. We listened to music. We spent the entire evening laughing.

I couldn't have asked for more.
My strong girl. And a grainy selfie because... we were so cozy!
As a recovering perfectionist, "perfect" is not an adjective that I commonly use. So I'll say this instead: last night was amazing.

It was perfect though... 

New Years Day brunch with our best friends (and the cutest surprise stationary)!
This morning, we went out for New Year's Day Brunch... Does 2 o'clock pm still count as brunch?

I noticed immediately, the moment I laid eyes on her, that Sam looked so happy. She appeared entirely calm and glowing from the inside out. "So herself" is the best way I know how to describe her.

I know that we are only just beginning 2015, but I think it may have made my year.
Bros :)
Before I wrap up, I know I should be honest and share that sometimes, I feel like I am learning lessons at 24 that I should have learned at 20, or some years ago. Sometimes I give myself a hard time because of it.

But growth is growth at any age. And I ought to be thankful for it.

To learning, love, health, happiness... and pyjama parties.


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