Saturday, January 1, 2011

No Regrets - Welcome 2011!

For the first time in a long time I drove home last night with a smile on my face and peace and joy filling my heart. Just writing that out now, 13 hours after the fact brings that same "welling up" of peace and joy in my chest that i had last night.

You see, I did exactly what I wanted to do last night. I thought, in passing, weeks ago, about who might be available to spend New Year's Eve with and thought of my (former) neighbors. I was down visiting them, at their new digs since they had to move out of my building (tears were shed after their move), two weeks ago and asked what they do for New Year's. S (the wife) told me that they never make it to midnight because they both have fallen asleep by then. They have 3 small children, 3 under 5 (if you know what that means). I suggested we ring in the new year together. They readily agreed.

I (finally) got them hooked on watching Bones. Yes it's a "crime" drama, yes it's gory and has half decomposed bodies often, but the personal interplay and the small moments of comic relief are well worth it for me. Not to mention the eye candy portion of the show. So with a new shared entertainment in mind, we decided to ring in the new year with Bones and "booze." I wasn't sure until I arrived last night if the booze would be real or not, but I really didn't care either way.

I arrived in mid-afternoon, groceries in tow. Had the older boys help me cut cheese and sausage for our appetizers. Then they helped me do take-n-bake snickerdoodles from Aldi's (which are surprisingly and ridiculously good). They even helped me mix up some Banana bread. I started a pot of Litt'l Smokies too. They bought KFC and had veggies and dip on hand. The closest thing to a regret that I have is that I ate about 3 bites too many and my stomach was so full I was uncomfortable until about 3 am. But jeez that KFC was good, and the dip was good and the cheese and sausage hit the spot, and those last 3 snickerdoodles were basically worth it.

We watched 3 episodes of Bones. Paused it for 10 minutes or so to do our own toast to 2011 with the sparkling white grape juice I grabbed at Aldi's. And then finished the episode. We chatted awhile, they expressed heartwarming concern over me driving home at 1 am. And I left.

I can honestly say, for the first time in a very very long time, I made it home just as contented as when I had left! Usually I leave feeling fine and great and halfway home realize I'm alone, and my apartment is empty and that devolves into no one loves me, no one will ever love me, no man in his right mind would be attracted to this Santa belly etc etc etc.

But not last night. I had the Christian radio station on and a great song was on. I remember thinking "I should blog about this when I get home and put this song up. Or maybe make a video of my pics from this year and use this song as background music." It was followed by another great song. Then I switched stations because an overplayed song came on, and the new station had a great song on. Then that had a commercial, so I switched stations again ... and another great song was on.

Do I remember any of those songs??

No. I. Do. Not.

I'm pretty sure the very first one was either MercyMe or Casting Crowns, but I couldn't tell ya which.

that desperate single-girl voice tried to remind me on my way home that I was going home by myself to an empty apartment, no closer to a date or a husband than I was when I left that apartment. But that feeling of peace and joy overrode her voice. I simply didn't care. I had not changed my plans to put myself in a better social situation for meeting men, so my expectations weren't unreasonably high for the evening. I hadn't invited myself anywhere I didn't truly feel welcome, so there was no lingering guilt or shame, and, again, expectations were fine.

I spent the evening enjoying a tv show I love, with friends I love, who love me, and kids who think I'm great, and ultimately, spent New Year's Eve exactly as I wanted to.

Wanna know the very best part and ironic bit? I couldn't have told you that it was going to be a Perfect New Year's Eve beforehand. I had no conscious idea that what I wanted was exactly what I had planned. It just plain worked out that way for me this year.

Even on the way home, as I got off the interstate I was thinking about this blog and I thought

"The only thing that could have possibly made this any better, would have been an amazing man who thinks I hung the moon to kiss me at midnight."

But just as soon as i thought that, I also realized that even if he had been there, I'd probably have been disappointed. I'd probably have set the whole scene out in my mind, and set it up much closer to a TV episode or favorite movie than reality can ever come close to and I would have unconsciously set myself up for disappointment.

So, all of this to say. I am content. I am happy. I am enjoying the prospect of what 2011 has to bring. And, right now, I'm enjoying more Bones. I've got Season 5 to finish.

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