It takes a long time to become young.
My New Year’s celebration started early. I didn’t mean for it to happen this way, but two friends showed up at my door on Sunday evening, wanting to sing karaoke. I was bone-tired and considered staying home. When I met them outside, the first thing I said was, “I don’t know how long I can be out tonight.” Despite my words, I was wearing a mini-dress and stilettos. “Sure,” they said. “No problem.” Five hours later, I had sung this song, and this song and this one, too. On my way home, I remembered how close I had been to passing on an extraordinarily fun night. It’s so easy to take good care of oneself, I thought (because I had no voice left to speak those words).
I am a lover of sentiment, ritual and ceremony. One of the greatest parts of being human is the capacity to create unique meaning from existential fabric. While my plans for New Year’s were set, on Monday morning, I felt like I wanted to keep up the celebration. Last New Year’s was a bust, and then I had a so-so year. Sure, there was plenty of beauty—and several bright spots. I became more humble and less modest. Overall, though, the mood was heavy. Normally, I’m not superstitious, but I decided that I would make sure I started 2015 on a brighter note. So that’s what I did. I cleaned. I took clothing to Goodwill. I bought sneakers to support my resolution to get healthy. I ate lots of comfort foods. I wrote lists, things I wanted to let go of, things I was eternally grateful for. I dropped a bunch of flowers by a friend’s house, just because. I took a long walk by the river where three sets of tourists asked me to take their picture. They were all worried about bothering me, and seemed surprised when I ended up chatted them up. When it comes to celebrating one’s life, we deserve a four-day celebration. At least.
Last year, by the grace of God, an exquisite leather corset found its way into my hands. I first wore it during one of my favorite moments of 2014. I was visiting friends’ and their daughter, and I pulled it out before dinner. A’s daughter had changed her outfit three times. (Now she was a princess.) I figured that this was a fine time to play dress up. A had to lace me up, as I could not put on the garment by myself. When she was almost finished, her daughter walked into the room and looked at me, genuinely confused.
“Suzie,” she said. “Why are you pretending to be grown up?”
That was funny, and I knew exactly what she meant. At heart, I am a child--and proud of it. Why was I pretending to be grown-up? Later, when I told a friend the story, she laughed, “Wow, the kid gets you.”
On Monday, I met up with a very dear friend for our bi-annual hot fudge sundae summit. (They heat up the hot fudge. It is the best. If you are in New York, go.) When I told her about the Sunday singing, she said, "That is so perfect; for all this heaviness we've been feeling, it's so perfect just to get...silly." She is right.
So here's my wish: after a sobering year, I think it’s high time we all took ourselves less seriously. There is divinity in laughter, silliness and, yes, play. That’s how I plan on ringing in my New Year. While there are many good things coming, I also know that the most valuable lesson of tapping into one’s child-like side is being present and doing things just because you feel like it in the moment. So...bring it!
Happy New Year, Happy Everything, and, as always lots of Love!