The other day I was reminiscing with my wife. We were sitting in our kitchen, ignoring the mounds of our Christmas booty that needed to be put away and may have had the cat buried underneath it for the chance to remember. We sat in our kitchen looking back through the years.
This time of year seems to bring out the nostalgia in both of us. On most days, the lucidity of my memories stops short at what I had for breakfast that particular morning but that night we were laughing and talking about all the New Year’s Eves we have had the fortune of spending together.
This will be our 14th New Year’s Eve. My wife commented to me about how it doesn’t seem that long. I told her it felt like 114 years. She promptly punched me and then continued our trip down memory lane.
Each year we went in and out of began the same way, each of us asking the other, “Do you remember…”. Each year we went in and out of ended with each of us shaking our heads in either disbelief or amazement about what we were able to remember. For example, I was more amazed about how much Jagermeister I used to be able to drink while my wife was more disbelieving of it.
We spent New Year’s Eves in other states, in run down motels, banquet halls, people’s houses we didn’t know, at restaurants typically too expensive to eat at, and in the comfort of our own homes.
As we climbed through the years, we realized our New Year’s Eves became less about copious amounts of alcohol, cover bands, and dancing shirtless on top of tables (me not her) and more about spending those nights corralling kids, who were hopped up on too much sugar and the excitement of the night, long enough for them to count down from 10 to 1.
We laughed, we remembered all the years, we remembered some of those years differently (some of those years I didn’t remember…that was the Jagermeister), and we did it all with a affection that only the coming of a new year seems to bring out.
The New Year also gives us a chance to look back at the year that was.
We look back on the friends we made, the experiences we went through, and the moments we shared. A new year can bring an end to one we would like to forget and hope that it becomes a springboard for the good fortune we enjoyed the year before. It lets us look back on what we had and what we hope to accomplish. We take time to think about whom we have welcomed in to our lives and remember fondly those we lost. Its conversations about resolutions. The same resolutions we make every year but don’t quite seem to follow through on. It’s our chance to say goodbye and hello all in the same night.
Each New Year brings with it the promise of opportunity. It’s a fresh start. Its gym memberships we hopefully won’t let expire by February, it’s the chance to take advantage of being a part of something great, and it’s another year to surround ourselves with the ones we love. It is all about putting one year behind us, to remember later, and turn our attentions to what can be. My wife and I took some time the other night to look back. To enjoy what was and remember those moments that have been because as 2013 begins we will be looking forward to another year.