Monday, January 01, 2007

You tell yourself what you want to hear, 'cause you have to believe this will be my year

A lot of people are talking resolutions and recaps this weekend, and, of course, I feel compelled to do the same. I find it hard to be reflective and think of new-leaf-turning at this time of year, though. I sort of wish New Year's came in the spring, when it isn't all gray and bleak and we aren't coming down from all the build-up of Christmas, watching the bright lights fade away house by house each day. It would be easier to think of a better life and new beginnings when we can see the proof-of-starting-over in the trees and world around us. Such is not the case, however. The new year starts right now. Best to shake the melancholy and make the most of it, I think.

For me, 2006 ended and 2007 began with a New Year's Sushi Dance Party at my good friend Carrie's apartment. Hand-rolled sushi, lively music, and good friends... it was a fine way to close out what was, in many ways, a fine year. Here's a brief summary of highlights and rarities. In 2006, I...

  • Signed up for an online dating service for the first time (and subsequently went on more dates in six months than I did in all of my teen years and 20s combined).

  • Made serious strides toward joining 21st Century, modern life. In one year, I bought my first digital camera, my first (not)iPod, and a flip-style cell phone with a color display. I also ditched the metal rabbit ears and got cable for the first time since my roommate days and finally said goodbye to dial-up and got a proper high-speed connection as well. Whoo. It's amazing I ever leave the house, is it not?

  • Spent an afternoon at a Jamaican nude beach, and ended that night in a naked hot tub.

  • Unintentionally smuggled a gecko home from vacation in my suitcase.

  • Got verbally assaulted by my lunatic neighbor (who, last I heard, had been put away in a state facility for an unspecified period of time).

  • Held four impossibly sweet and adorable babies, but remained confident that I don't want one of my own at this point.

  • Tried out cat ownership for a week, and held on to the conviction that I don't want one of those just yet, either.

  • Ate my first deep-fried Milky Way bar. (If this seems insignificant and not highlight-worthy, then you probably haven't had one. I assure you, they are delicious.)

  • Made some great new friends thanks to the wonder that is the Internet (and even finally met a few of them as well).

  • Watched my best friend get married.

  • Gave a speech in front of 100+ people for, I think, the first time ever.

  • Had my picture in the paper for the first time since childhood (and no, not for doing anything illegal).

  • Posted every day for a whole month.

  • Found comfort in kindred spirits and happily embraced my own nerdery.

  • Became increasingly aware that nothing is certain, that absolutes are impossible, and that everything is situational. And also that we all still have a lot to learn, but we can learn a whole lot of it from each other.

Beyond reflecting on the past, the other side of New Year's, of course, is about making resolutions. I'm not much for resolutions myself (I proved this last year, I think, when I made a list of anti-resolutions instead). Maybe I prefer to think that who I am is who I am and there's no sense trying to change it at this point, or maybe I just don't like setting myself up for failure by stating vague or unrealistic goals on which I'm unlikely to follow through. This year I have been thinking about a few things I should aim for, however. For me, a shorter list is better, so I've settled on just three.

  • Take a vitamin every day. And a calcium supplement, too. This is a simple, simple thing that I have resolved to do many times over, but for some reason I just never stick to it. Maybe putting it in print will reinforce this in some way.

  • Make at least five meals out of the Pillsbury Fast and Healthy Cookbook I bought many months ago, intending to start remedying my culinary inadequacy and to try eating like a normal and responsible adult. (Five is not a particularly ambitious number, I know, but I'm starting small, you see.)

  • Be kinder to the people I love. I hate myself for all the unintentionally horrible things I've said to some of the people I purport to care about the most, and I have no idea why I've said them or from whence this undesirable passive-aggressive streak came. Maybe it's true that people who are unhappy with their own lives are more apt to nit-pick about others' lives and I'm unhappier than I realized. Or maybe, as some crude character in a bad, dumb-funny movie might say, I just need to get laid. (Perhaps that last part should be a resolution as well. But it's out of character for me to go there in a blog post, so let's just forget I said that and move on.)
    (I was feeling more than a bit out-of-sorts when I wrote that, so I probably didn't need to be quite so dramatic. Basically, that first sentence plus "Try to think before you speak" would likely suffice.)

That about wraps up my New Year's thoughts, I guess. I hope everyone had a safe and happy New Year's, and I wish all of you an excellent 2007 as well.


maliavale said...

I'm with you on the resolutions, and I loved your last item about your year. I suspect we think pretty similarly sometimes.

nabbalicious said...

Happy New Year! Man, you had an eventful one.

I haven't had a fried Milky Way yet, but I could definitely see them being highlight-worthy.

And a Sushi Dance Party? That is the best idea ever!

Anonymous said...

Your 2006 sounds like it was pretty wonderful (well, not the lunatic neighbor part). Here's hoping 2007 is even better. Happy New Year!

stefanie said...

Malia--I suspect so as well. :-)

Nabb--It was indeed a fun idea. And the sushi was so good! I had no idea it was so easy to make it yourself at home. (Well, um, maybe I shouldn't say that, as I wasn't the one making it. It didn't look all that hard when Carrie was making it, though!)

Other Girl--Thanks; same back at you as well!

Anonymous said...

You know, I had some other stuff to say, but then I read "deep fried Milky Way bar" and I sort of got sidetracked. :) Mmmmmm...

Hope the new year is filled with only good things for you!

Darren McLikeshimself said...

"I sort of wish New Year's came in the spring, when it isn't all gray and bleak and we aren't coming down from all the build-up of Christmas, watching the bright lights fade away house by house each day."

Yes! That's it EXACTLY! That's why I've always found New Year's so depressing.

Anonymous said...

My New Year's Resolution is to find a deep fried Milky Way Bar and eat it. Perhaps I'll stick a multi-vitamin in it first. Happy New Year!

stefanie said...

Metalia--I understand. These things happen. :-) And I wish for good things for you in the year ahead, too.

Darren--I know, right? Totally the most depressing time of year as far as I'm concerned. I'm glad it's not just me.

Noelle--That is a fine resolution, I say. You will not be disappointed. :-)

Anonymous said...

Excellent goals for the new year! I agree with the others that the Sushi Dance Party sounds awesome. I welcomed the new year by watching dvds with my mom. It was not quite as thrilling.

Anonymous said...

Deep fried? (I just misspelled it to be Deep Friend. What does that say? haha)

I am afraid to try it!

Happy New Year! I should probably do some lists myself.

Jamie said...

Hey Stef, you could postpone your New Year's resolutions until Chinese New Year instead (February 18th this year), although it's bound to be just as bleak and cold then. Alternatively, you could wait until Thai New Year, April 13th to 15th -- three whole days of fun celebrated by throwing water at everyone. Hopefully, the temperatures will be back above freezing by then...

I had the same resolution as your first one last year. I finally got into the habit of taking a multi-vitamin and a calcium supplement by putting a little 'v' mark on a calendar in my kitchen each day. Actually, I can't stomach a multi-v before my big meal of the day, so I normally take just the calcium supplement in the morning, when I make one slanted line mark (half of the 'v') on the calendar, then I take the other and complete the 'v' at night. Works for me, except I still forget when I'm out of town...

Anyway, as for your third resolution, I wouldn't be so hard on yourself...

Happy 2007!

lizgwiz said...

I think your resolutions seem reasonable and attainable. And staying with a small number seems smart to me. I don't make New Year's resolutions at all any more, but I know I sure as hell wouldn't be able to accomplish a LONG list of them.

I like the idea of Spring Resolutions, though. Kind of a spring cleaning of your life.

Miss Peach said...

New Year's SHOULD be in the Spring!!! Can we start our own revolution and have a New Blogger Year's Eve/Day celebration in the Spring? I mean, Judaism has it's own new year. And the Chinese do too! Why not us? We ARE Time's people of the year!

And a happy new year to you!


Nerdery is a *good* thing! :)

stefanie said...

R--Well, I hope they were at least good DVDs! Frankly, I almost had second thoughts about going out anyway, due to the really inconveniently timed first-snowstorm-of-the-year. I could not miss the sushi dance party due to bad weather, though, so I just drove slow and showed up a bit late.

Paisley--Do not fear the deep-fried Milky Way. The deep-fried Milky Way is your friend. (A deep-fried friend. Heh.) By the way, I totally just typed "friend" instead of "fried" TWICE there, so I completely understand.

Jamie--Per that last part: thanks. I know. I probably wrote that a bit more dramatically than necessary. I was in a funk and feeling shitty when I posted it. I considered going back to edit it to something a bit more light-hearted, like "Realize that the entire world does not necessarily see every situation the same as you do, and that you do not always have to TELL them when you think they should agree with you." ;-) But once it was published, I just thought, "Eh." Consider it a public apology nonetheless for all the times I've stated opinions too loudly or put my foot in my mouth attempting to make a joke and having it come out all wrong.

Liz--"Spring cleaning for your life." I like that. :-)

Peach--You're right! Time's people of the year can totally make up new rules and holidays as they see fit. Should we pick a day in the spring and all drunk-blog together in celebration?

Funkybrownchick--That's what I've decided, too. That's why I've embraced it. :-)

guinness girl said...

Excellent resolutions, Stefanie! And - my, you had a busy 2006! I love the word nerdery. :) - GG