Sunday, January 1, 2012

Aprés midnight . . . reflections

 I've just watched midnight for the third time (9, 10 and midnight). Unfortunately, all from NYC, although I've tried to generate a little suspense by channel-hopping. There's always the hope that the crystal ball will plummet to earth like a meteorite, instead of that insipid creep downward. I was never so disappointed as the first time I saw the ball drop. What happened to the days when my local broadcast channels showed midnight happening in our own time zone?

I'm content tonight though. I haven't made any resolutions. As I said to one blogger's question about New Year's resolutions, I make resolutions, but I think I have short term memory loss. Or is that long term?
In any case, I seem to forget what they are.                 .

Sister invited me to join her and Brother-in-Law and her friend Laura for a rib roast, roasted potatoes, a tasty and interesting spinach dish, and double-chocolate mousse. They're not night owls like I am, so we watched Kathy Griffin embarrass Anderson Cooper at 9, and think we might have seen midnight in Nashville at 10, although the cacophony and technical difficulties made it unclear. It was a quiet celebration for us and I went home then to let them get into their jammies.

New Year's Eve was my husband's and my favorite holiday. All the other holidays involve family obligations. When people marry, the tug-of-war begins. Who gets the new couple for Thanksgiving? Christmas Eve? Christmas?

When it's a second marriage and he is divorced and there are children and an ex, and then there's me and I'm a widow and there are children and grandparents and both of our siblings . . . well, you see where I'm going with this.

 New Year's Eve has none of that family tension, being more of a friends and couples occasion. So it became our own favorite holiday and we settled into a comfortable tradition, with 17 of our 25 or so New Years together joining friends at a small hotel/spa in Desert Hot Springs, with a midnight glass of champagne in the hot pool and a New Year's Day feast in the pool room.

Our last New Year's together was the millennium -- 2000. He was dying then, although I don't think either of us had acknowledged it, bedridden, unable to eat properly, still mentally in touch at that point. That year's New Year's celebrations were televised from around the world and I joined him in bed and we watched the telecasts for the whole 24-hours. It was a glorious celebration and the world made it through all of the dire predictions that technology would bring the world-as-we-knew-it crashing down, unable to cope with Y2K. He died on January 11, three days before his 64th birthday.

I cherish the memories of that day-long cycle and all the other good New Years together. I'm wistful, I'm nostalgic, but time passes, life changes, and I have no wish to recreate the past.

I got thinking about this topic tonight after reading another blogger's post. I've only read a few of her posts, but she's in an unhappy place in life, financially strapped, a mother of young children and I'm not clear about her relationship status. She sounds down tonight, and irritated by "chin up" advice from her readers. I don't know enough of her story even to offer advice, nor whether "granny" advice would be welcome. What could I say? what should I say? keeps running through my mind. I can't say I know how you feel, because I don't know that I know that. But I think I can say, I'm listening to you, I'm hearing you.

I wouldn't insult her with "chin up" advice, even if I have to believe that "things will get better." Can I say, "Hold on. Hold on for dear life, because that's what's at stake for you and your children. Even if it's hard to visualize how it can get better, concentrate now on not making it worse, while you work out what positive steps you can take, one by one, for all of your futures"?

. . . Something like that I'd want to say.


 See you soon.



  1. Life changes, all the time, and all we can do is hang on for the ride. I see some young people making poor choices and then having to pick up the pieces. Others are so afraid of making the wrong choice, that they don't do anything--which is another kind of decision. I'm glad I have the memories of other years, but I'm also delighted to have the opportunity to make a lot of new ones!
    Bonne annee mon amie!

  2. . When you wonder if someone is about to step off into the abyss, do you shout a warning and make a grab, or figure your inner writer is over-dramatizing the situation?
    . Are you on for September this year? Wow, it's now "this year."
    . Bonne année à toi aussi

  3. Lee, thank you for this beautiful post. To me, you are one amazing and strong woman. I think having memories such as yours create a peaceful soul. Everyday is an adventure and I look forward to seeing what 2012 shares with you!...and personally...I welcome 'granny' advice!


  4. I love this piece Lee. It has so much wisdom, wistfulness, positivity, and the realization that life isn't always all that positive. I'd say your advice - granny or not - is very stellar.

    And I'm jealous that you get multiple New Year's celebrations.