When I was younger, one of the biggest nights of the year was New Year’s Eve. The build-up usually surpassed the reality but I still went for it, year in year out.
It just had to be done. Looking back, I think I had a chronic case of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) and it took me years to admit that NYE was actually a bit rubbish.
I suppose middle age will do that to you; you want to go out but there are conditions: will I have to walk and will there be a seat when I get there?
Fast forward a few decades and the shine finally wore off NYE. In actual fact, it’s been ten years since I saw in the New Year.
Christmas was great this year. The best one in a long time if I’m to be honest. The kids are older and their excitement levels knew no bounds. However, they couldn’t possible compete with Storm Eva, just one of the many ravages our little country has experienced during the month of December.
Cries of “this is the best Christmas Day ever!” and “This is the best Christmas dinner ever!” and “we love Christmas!” were very gratifying but cabin fever was setting in.
My phone pinged. But the message came through at a time when I was forcing four boys under jet streams of water and into bubble baths. Followed by hot chocolates and bedtime.
It was the following morning before I saw the message. It appeared I had missed the opportunity for a few drinks in the pub.
New Year’s Eve rolled round and one of my sisters was having a get together in hers. I considered driving so I’d be bright eyed and bushy tailed for a certain New Year’s Day birthday. In the end I accepted a lift and had a few beers with the banter.
At this stage in my life I consider this to be the best way to spend NYE; the company is great, the food is moreish and most importantly of all, I’ve got a seat.
However, I cannot ignore the other fact of middle age – I get banjaxed at the drop of a hat.
Particularly if there is a drop taken. And I was drinking beer because it is kinder to me than wine.
It was 11.10 and the troops decided to take the party downtown. I decided to take my sorry, tired, middle-aged self home. So I wished them all a good night, a Happy New Year and as luck would have it, I was very kindly dropped home.
I was home by 11.30 and I paid my usual visit to each of the boys’ bedrooms to wish them a goodnight as I had missed bedtime. The older two boys were still awake having stayed up to watch a movie.
Absolutely wrecked and wondering when it was midnight, their eyes closed as I kissed them and wished the birthday boy a happy 8th birthday twenty minutes early.
I paid a visit to the other two boys who were happily snoring softly and then into my own bed.
It was a happy new year but I was just happy they were near.
Goodbye 2015, you were good to me and hello 2016. I am expecting some fantastic things from you. No pressure.