I always loved the idea of getting all dressed up, putting on a real bra and the cutest heels and heading out with my best gals for a night of dancing and endless laughs to celebrate the new year. As I’ve gotten older, the desire to head out with the masses has faded and I much prefer quiet low key times at home with the family. Which usually means I accidentally fall asleep before the ball drops, sorry fam! Blame it on the champagne!
We’re a family of 4 including a teenager and active toddler so figuring out how to ring in the new year (that’s affordable!) that makes everyone happy is tricky. We’re just a hop, skip, and jump away from Boston, in Cambridge, just across the rivah (river for my non-Bostonian friends!) and can easily access lots of different events and activities all around the city leading up to 2019.
One great outdoor experience we’ve loved visiting in the past is First Night Boston. First, it’s free and open to all cultural and musical performances in indoor and outdoor venues, ice sculptures, light displays and family-friendly fireworks at 7:00 pm. We’ve taken the redline down to Park Street and enjoyed walking all around Boston Common, there are tons of people, lots of flashing lights and an overall fun an affordable experience.
The months and weeks leading up to New Year’s Eve usually dictate how we spend NYE, and given how the past two weeks have panned out, I’d be justified to stay in bed with a tub of Ben & Jerry’s and pajamas. It’s been rough, ya’ll. I am incredibly skilled at only hyper-focusing on the negative and as you can imagine, it sucks. It’s hard for me to see and find joy, to accept happiness and change and believe in myself. Two weeks ago a major shift happened in my life and kicked me down. I was angry, I was pissed off, all I felt was rage. I snapped at the kids. I wasn’t sleeping. I wasn’t easy. I was uneasy and constantly anxious. I texted my friend and said I don’t want to go off the deep end. This dance I do with my anxiety and depression is challenging, sometimes I’m leading and sometimes I’m not. When I’m not, I need support to stay afloat. For once, I let myself accept help and support and as a result of so much selflessness around me, I decided to start leading with love and not rage. Life literally is what you make of it. Had I chosen to stay dark and negative it would have impacted my relationship with my children, pushed me away from my friends and probably taken me off the deep end. While it often feels like I’m not in control, it’s absolutely not what I want for myself or my family.
So since I want to lead with love, I’ve been thinking about how best to close out and appreciate 2018 and welcome in 2019. There is so much focus on new beginnings and opportunities and a fresh start when a new year rolls around, yet not enough time reflecting, understanding, appreciating and letting go of all that transpired in the current year.
This New Year I feel the earth is encouraging us to align within ourselves. Our efforts should be spent on nurturing and loving ourselves and moving to a state of harmony. I’ve been using this to ask myself about what in my life takes us unnecessary space? What can I live without? What sets my soul on fire? I realize I carry so much emotional and physical baggage that it’s no surprise I am always wound up so tight. It’s exhausting and lonely. I’ve realized I feel more in harmony with myself with less. For so long I thought completeness was found in a store, something I could buy and make me feel better. Never happened. I had to learn who I was behind all the things I was trying to hide behind. So now, I appreciate the vulnerability that can be found with being as you are.
I know you’re probably asking, ok so what the heck are you going to be doing to celebrate 2019? A couple things 🙂
Letters To Family Members
A new tradition I’ve asked my family to take part in with me this year is to write a letter to everyone in the family. So each of us (minus toddler) are writing 3 letters by New Year’s Eve. I have kept the instructions for this fairly loose as I want everyone to write from the heart vs seeming scripted. The idea is that we all take the time to appreciate and acknowledge the people we hold closest in our hearts and talk about what you’re looking forward to doing with them in 2019. We’ll see how it goes!
Time To Release
Everyone will write down 5 things they want to release and leave in 2018. This could include regrets, grudges, anger or challenges. What you write is private. Safely, light a fire (candle is great) and one by one (safely!!!) everyone burns each of their notes, watching them release into smoke. We did this last year and I really loved doing this together.
I don’t match my kids. I’ve never purposefully dressed the same as my daughter. It’s not my thing. But, around the holidays?
MATCHING JAMMIES FOR EVERYONE!!
This year we indulged in Burts Bees Baby Family Jammies which are so freaking comfortable and adorable and perfect for the entire family!! Everyone will be rocking out in their jammies and it’s a great way to be fun and silly while comfortable! #BBBFamJams
We’ll be having dinner together as a family as well as playing a couple of games. The weather in Boston looks decent so we may head to Boston common to check out the ice sculptures and fireworks. Crossing my fingers and toes that Hunter naps tomorrow!!
2018 taught me many lessons, lessons I didn’t want to learn, but had to. I am surrounded by amazing, selfless people who carry me and love me and I am so incredibly appreciative and blessed. So this year, it’s all about family. Getting on each other’s nerves. Dancing and singing at the top of our lungs. Playing trucks and reading 100 books, trying to get Alexa to play the right song, hoping the dog doesn’t pee on the rug, hoping the toddler doesn’t throw the iPad, wondering where my phone is, matching pajamas, a sink full of dishes, caffeine to help me stay up until midnight and many, many laughs.
Because we are family.
I feel like I’ve been looking at my family through refreshed lenses, really appreciating them as human beings and lifelong teachers.
Happy 2019, friends.