This is the last post of December! I signed up to blog every day for the month and I feel very proud that even through sick kids and other exhausting busy times I have kept up the posting. I also feel a little sad that I no longer have as much of an official reason to say “Sorry dishes/kids/Mo/everything else, I have a date with my blog.” I plan to continue to take the time out at least a few times every week, and hopefully give each individual post a little more attention. The journey of committing to writing every day, and not just writing but also putting it out there, has been both terrifying and exciting. When I put of my first post I felt like I was going to throw up, I felt so exposed. Through the course of the month it got easier and more cathartic to put my true feelings out there. When friends and strangers have reached out to tell me that they can relate to what I write about I feel so satisfied and happy! I hope that by sharing honestly and openly about my joys and my struggles I will show others that you are not alone and that there is strength in sharing our difficulties as well as our triumphs. Thanks again for reading, and stay tuned for a Facebook page and other exciting new developments in January.
For now, I will turn the stage over to my lovely, hilarious sister-in-law Whitney of Jewhungry.
Thanks for guest posting Whit!
Hello Joy of Caitlin readers! It’s an honor and a pleasure to guest post on this blog.
I’ve been asked to write about New Year’s Eve. When Caitlin first proposed this idea the very first thing that popped into my head was “Sweet Hallelujah, I now have a baby and can pull that card when asked, ‘what are you doing for New Year’s this year?'” Come on, admit it, you pull that card too and if you don’t have a child, job, dog, etc. to use as an out for not wanting to fake excitement over NYE, you’re kinda jealous of those who do.
Let’s rewind a bit. I’m in my early thirties. I spent my teenage years being square and scared of parties that didn’t include Trivial Pursuit and ABBA (us orchestra dorks really knew how to throw down). I dabbled in rebellion and fun-times in college and found myself opening up to the possibility of something other than good, clean fun. As a result, by the time I reached my 20s and living on my own in the various cities I lived in, I was having an all out blast. The reasonable grown woman (read: my mom) who has always been the voice of reason in my head kept things relatively clean when it came to my 20s but it was not uncommon to find me on the dance floor of the local hip hop club every weekend night and then at the local dive bar enjoying Wet My Whistle Wednesday (it’s real, ask Margi) or Tip ‘Em Back Tuesday. What I mean to say is I had fun and a lot of it. I refer to my 20s as my “Decade of Decadence”. So you’d think a young woman in my position would have loved New Year’s Eve but, confession time, I HATED it. I mean truly and wholly despised. The reasonable grown woman inside of me was exhausted at the thought of waiting hours for cabs to and from whatever incredibly expensive club or hotel party my crew had decided we just had to go to on New Year’s Eve. The pressure to find the outfit and the date to kiss at midnight or to look like you didn’t care that you didn’t have anyone to smooch at midnight (stupid ball-dropping pressure). Oy va voy, I’m breaking out into a sweat just remembering.
Here’s the thing. What I found out when I got older was that I was not alone. Most everyone hated New Year’s Eve. There was just too much pressure. “Have fun! Have the best night of your life!! Glitter is going to fall from the ceilings and Chandon is going to be poured freely for all the world to enjoy!!! WOOHOO!!” Ok? That never happened. It was more along the lines of, “It’s been 2 hours, no cabs are here. How willing am I to walk home in 20 degree Chicago weather in these Gd-foresaken heels!? Why did I leave my house!?!? BLARGH!!”
Things came to a head in 2007 when my usual New Year’s Eve crew decided enough was enough. No more spending at least $85 for some party where we only knew the people we were going to the party with. No more fights with total strangers over who had dibs on that cab first. Nope. It was Scategories and wine at one of our apartments. And let me just say, this was the best New Year’s Eve ever. I remember laughing so hard a various points of the night that maybe a little pee came out (I’m not ashamed). It was a wonderful night and most of all, such a relief. No longer did we have to pretend to enjoy this evening—-we were actually enjoying it and it only costs us $20 a piece in wine and take out! What had we been doing all these years?
By the next NYE I had met my now husband and we spent the night eating good food and falling asleep before the ball drop, content and fuzzy in each other’s company. I only remember one more NYE where we actually stayed up past midnight and that was at our engagement party. Other than that, it has been a relief to not have to prove to myself that I can have an epic blast because that’s what one is supposed to do on NYE. We’re on a tight budget and I can’t stay up passed 10:30 these days so I’m more than happy to use the baby as my reason for excusing myself from the pressure of trying to have the ‘greatest night ever’. This year we’ll be making our own sushi, blowing up the air mattress, laying out blankets, and watching a movie on our porch al fresco. Heaven.
Happy New Year!