Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Our Own Personal Eve

For many years Joe and I would fly off somewhere to celebrate New Year's Eve and to suffer New Year's Day. Our prime two choices were New York City and San Francisco. Well, actually we went to New York only once, got caught in the crushing crowd in Times Square and decided to spend the holiday on the west coast thereafter.

We stayed at a run down hotel, that we really liked because it had real character, which was directly across from Frenchies Adult Boutique - which often decorated their store with a Santa in a sleigh being pulled by seven blow up sheep. We were within walking distance from Reflections, a bar, no longer there, where we liked to drink, conveniently located next to the Wing Lum restaurant. We'd eat, we'd drink, we'd 'party hard.' It was lots of fun.

Neither Joe or I can remember how it is that we decided, or even if we actively decided, to no longer travel to the States at the end of the year. All we know is that our tradition changed. We ended up coming to Toronto, we lived in Quebec at the time, for the holiday. We had a favourite bar and a favourite Chinese restaurant - both gone now. We'd eat, we'd party - and we'd welcome the New Year.

We can't remember how it came to be that, over time, we stopped going out for New Year's celebrations. Nor can we remember how it ended up that we look forward to, staying at home, Joe with his beer me with my tea and being in bed by 8:00pm and snoring at 8:01. But that's what happened.

Funny thing is, with these changes, we don't feel like anything much has been lost. We enjoyed those times for what they were and for who we were at the time. We equally enjoy our times now. There are no regrets, there are no longing desires for 'the good old drunk days' of our youth. We, long ago, decided that we wouldn't be held captive by traditions that no longer served their purpose, that we were free to be able to make our life the way we wanted it to be.

We have no idea what our tradition will be in 5 years, but for now, it's tea, beer and bed.

Oddly, when I mention our New Year's plans, I get kind of sorrowful looks. People often love to look at another's life from the perspective of their own. What might seem sad for them, is wonderful for us. What might seem fun to them sound horribly dull for us. That's to be expected.

But it's the question, "So you don't go away for New Year's because you're disabled now?" Why would every change in our lifestyle have to be laid at the feet of disability? Why can't we just be changing as people? This year I've travelled to San Francisco, to Edmonton, to Boston, to Halifax, to Fredrickton, to Kingston, to Ukiah, to Eureka, to New York, to Harrisburg, I'll stop there ... and yet somehow I can't get on a plane to fly to San Francisco because of my disability. How odd.

Things change.

Times change.

People change.

So we'll celebrate British New Year's at 7:00pm and then, chat over a couple of drinks and then head off to bed.


Which is how you are supposed to enter the New Year.


jennifer said...

Well said! Does the tree get thrown over the balcony anymore? Happy new years to you and uncle joe! May 2015 be even better then 2014,cheer's to beer and tea! Xo

Anonymous said...

New Year's one of my most favorite holidays and like you and Joe, our New Year's Eve Agenda has changed dramatically over the past 23 years. Back then, we would get all dressed up and head out to an expensive event with music and drink o'plenty. That changed gradually, over the past dozen years. Now we make finger foods and I whip up a mocktail our 11 yr old daughter has branded Jingle Juice. (Cranberry juice and 7up). We play board games and dance the night away in our livingroom- just my husband, daughter and I. At midnight, Bree makes her way through the house and replaces our old calendars with new ones. We stay up and talk about all the things we look forward to in the upcoming creating a future, we build a past...
Wishing you and Joe a bright and healthy New Year. I look forward to seeing you both back on Prince Edward Island in the summer for a tea or two and a few cold beer!
Love and light to you both.

Kasie said...

Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year, Dave. And thank you for a year's worth of experiences, insight and wisdom.

Ron Arnold said...

A Happy New Year to you Dave! May it be filled with enlightenment, gratitude and contentment.

Princeton Posse said...

What is it about Chinese food at New Years? It's the same in my family. My parents ordered Chinese for something special and now, it doesn't seem like New Years without it. All the very best to you, Joe and all your readers. Happy 2015!

Laura said...

I have a friend who actually said to me once that there was something wrong with me because my idea of fun is watching a bunch of tv or movies board games and eating a bunch of fun snack foods. And relaxing with one or two others. When I told this person that was what I do every year she berated me. "EVERYONE GOES OUT and if you don't that is very very sad and pathetic. I said no that's not true my parents never do. My sister and her husband don't. Most of my friends don't go out to party. She berated me for three days over this silly argument while I laughed at her. What a dumb thing to get so hot headed and nasty about. I wasn't telling her not to go I was just saying I already had plans the same plans I have ever year. It was odd and she was so angry. I have never felt like I am missing anything and can't think of anything I'd rather be doing. Needless to say we aren't as close as we once were. Happy New Year how ever you chose to spend it

Colleen said...

Dear Dave: we love our snuggled into home New Years too. All the best in 2015 to you and Joe. Colleen

theknapper said...

Happy New Year Dave and Joe!!!!!