It’s no secret that I like to go to bed early. After midnight, all bets are off*. I either go completely non-verbal the second the hour and minute hands meet or I get a crazy second wind that prompts me to bake cookies from scratch while watching a 2 am showing of Selena on TBS. Also, since I like to set unreasonable expectations for myself, staying up late interferes with getting up in the 7 hour to get a jump on the day. And not being much of a napper**, I sort of need a solid 8. But Friday night, it being New Year’s Eve and all, I went out. And I made it to 12:30 before blurting out, “I have to go home NOW.” So there.
My initial plan for New Year’s was to go to bed early and try not to care about the whole deal. I didn’t make any plans on account of not being able to figure out if I wanted to have any. And, in the grand tradition of 2010 — and I don’t mean this in a snarky way at all — when I refused to make plans for an occasion that was sort of nagging at me, I was forced into some and probably ended up better for it.
Case in point: I had mixed feelings about my birthday. 29 seems kind of like a nothing age, and while I was REALLY glad to be done with 28 for a number of symbolic reasons, I didn’t know how I wanted to mark the occasion. All I knew is that I didn’t have the oomph to pull something together and I didn’t want to ask people to come be cheery with me when I was feeling pretty meh. But my friends had other plans. And while I sort of puzzled it out early on and spent a good deal of time attempting to confirm my suspicions*** and figuring out whether or not it was what I wanted, in the end I was massively touched by my surprise party.
But back to New Year’s. The way I ended up going out was far less touching than my friends gathering together in the spirit of goodwill to drink wine and eat chicken fingers. Basically, my friend Colleen yelled me into submission at Red Robin while I was covered in guacamole and ranch dressing. According to her, it was a night not to do what I do every night, and if I could think of somewhere to go or had been told there was somewhere (anywhere, really) I could go, well, then, that’s what I should do, House marathon or no. And, since Colleen ranks among the people I actually listen to, I took her advice to heart. So, after a long day of 5k-ing and watching the Peep drop**** I pulled on my boots, straightened my hair the right way, and left the house.
You could almost say I’m growing as an individual.
But since it’s been 2011 for a more than a day already, let me briefly sketch out what I learned in 2010 what I hope/think/expect in 2011:
1. 2010 was a lot better than it seemed/should have been. Having made it to the end and, at the end, realizing I had a good time getting there, I can say that I couldn’t have imagined myself where I am now at this time last year, but that’s actually a good thing. I’m glad things blew up and that my expectations changed. Because honestly, this time last year, I was pretty stuck.
2. Standing up for myself was so worth it. I knew I was tough, but I had no idea I would have to fight so hard for myself. But I did. And I’m better for it. If you ever, and I mean EVER, get the opportunity to tell someone who deserves it what you think of them, take a deep breath and calmly let them have it. Don’t yell, don’t scream. Just go out with a bang. It’ll do you good. Whatever it is might seem bad at the time, but it’s actually a gift.
3. Listening to my body a bit more is probably a good idea. I can see now that month-long cases of stress hives and near pukes in the shower are personal teachable moments. Also, scratching and teaching is a bad combo. If I learned anything at all, I should take something away from the time I realized my largely male class was staring at me while I scratched along my bra line and attempted to teach The Things They Carried. I had to make a quick decision between explaining I had hives or pretending nothing happened. I went with the blind charge forward. In this new year, I either need to get more responsible or I’m going to have to save up my money to hire someone to sit on me when I get over-excited.
4. I’m pretty sure the whole turning 30 business will probably back up on me at some point, but I think I’ll just have to remind myself that it’s super cool that I’m turning 30 on 9/10/11. And that it’s a Saturday, meaning I can have an even more awesome party.
5. I’m pushing myself towards even more new things this year than I did in the second half of 2010. And I expect it to be just as good, even though it’s terrifying.
6. On a note related to #s 4 and 5, I want to run either a half marathon or a full marathon by fall. There. It’s in writing.
7. I’m also planning on continuing to enjoy what comes my way, both in the expected and unexpected varieties.
Sigh. That’s it on the touchy-feely bullshit from me. In our next installment, look for the usual smartass.
* I have Human Pumpkin Syndrome, an invented condition that causes the sufferer to lose all perkiness, spark, and energy the second she realizes how late it actually is, making her a little deflated balloon who still needs to drive home.
** Due to a life-long case of Ants in the Pants. My inability to just stop and relax when I need it is an actual problem.
*** I screwed with everyone over this. And they knew it. And they messed with me in turn. But, in the end, we all decided that my ability to sniff out a plot might be our last, best hope in defending against terrorism.
**** More on that some other time, but yes, I did say Peep and drop. As in gets lowered on New Year’s. I attended both showings this year as the aforementioned Colleen and her party were passing through during the children’s drop and I decided to join them. I also saw the drop at midnight because I was up and this was the first year someone else wasn’t going to ruin it for me.