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Erin Ann McBride
Tuesday, November 30 2010

Singles and New Years Eve

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The leftovers are organized, the last guest has left, the easy listening radio stations have turned to “holiday” music, and my jeans are a little bit tighter today than they were last week.  I am left alone with thoughts of my singleness, with a really bad version of “Santa Baby” stuck in my head. All signs that the Christmas season has officially begun.

But it isn't Christmas I am thinking about. I am worrying about the big event just one week later. New Years Eve.

December 31 ranks right up there with Valentines Day (and Mothers Day) on the dreaded events list for singles. There is a ridiculous amount of pressure to get a date, or attend a hot party, or spend it with the right friends. And then there is the worst part of it all- the Midnight Kiss. Who to kiss? Where to kiss? How to kiss? And whether or not you have to kiss them?! (And let's not forget the more superficial problems like how to look good in a party dress after a month of overindulging on carbs, when the diet begins “tomorrow!”)

When the social status peer pressure is over, there are the more reflective and personal issues as the year draws to a close. As the new year dawns, we can't help but think about another year spent single, another year where dreams did not come true, facing another year older and lonelier, etc.  We wonder what went wrong? Why we are still alone? What does the future hold? Will it always be like this? Will I find what I am looking for next year?

Sure it is all self-imposed misery. Or something like that. And just as sure as I am that there are a good number of people reading this who completely disagree with me, I know there are plenty of other people who feel the same way I do. (Welcome to my life. I'm never totally right, and I'm never totally wrong. I'm just more outspoken.)

As I write this I am reviewing all of my past New Years Eves in my head, trying to remember if there was just one eve I wasn't stressed out or miserable. I hate to admit it, but I can't think of one. Last year was so boring that I went to bed at 10 pm after reading a book. It was not the way I wanted to spend the evening. More importantly, it wasn't the way I wanted to start off a new year- alone and bored.

For better or worse, a few months ago I set a goal for myself- I will get a date and have fun on New Years Eve. I hate breaking goals I set for myself, but sometimes you just have to admit, “That was stupid. I change my mind.”

But I am forced to accept that a new year is just behind the dreaded night. And maybe, there is a subconscious desire to do something exciting the night before, so as to start the new year off in the right direction. No matter what it is I choose to do, I have to wake up to my reality the next morning. Which would be a lot easier to do if I am the person I want to be the night before. No one wants to wake up disappointed with the man in the mirror (or disappointed with the attractive, single, talented woman in the mirror, as the case may be).

And so, singles, and anyone else who feels this pressure applies to them, I encourage you to decide today how you want to celebrate the end of a year. Be true to yourself. Celebrate your year in a way that suits you best! Will it be a huge party with friends? Intimate game night with family? Going to bed early? Or a dance party alone in your living room with your dog? Be the person you want to be on December 31, so that you love the person you are on January 1.

And as the new year grows closer, remember that there is no such thing as the “right time” for certain major events in your life! We cannot control when certain things will happen. We can only control how we live and how we respond to major events. The only goal or resolution you need to set for yourself next year is to be happy with reactions to life's challenges, and make decisions you can be happy with later.

Now, tell me how you want to spend New Years Eve!

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