Sunday, December 29, 2013

Happy Old Year! By: Karen Pilarski

My husband and I ringing in a new year.
On the cusp of a new year yet it still hinges on the old. Many embrace it with resolutions and cheer. I always have moments of melancholy with a sip of champagne.

Somehow the concoction leaves the stomach jumbled up and in knots.

My family's New Year's Eve consisted of eating junky and fattening treats. Dick Clark's Rockn' Eve was a requirement to our night.

On a piece of paper I secretly wrote out wishes for the next year. The wishes were always to get out of the poverty conditions we resided in. Foolishly and with childlike aptitude, I wanted to win the lottery.

As time neared midnight we found pots and pans with large wooden spoons.

No expensive shiny hats or noise makers, just children on an extreme sugar high. The plan was to sprint out of the house and make a raucous for a whole minute.

The ball dropped in the newly born year in New York. My younger siblings forgot the East coast was a hour ahead of Wisconsin. They started to grab jackets and were quickly corrected about time difference.

The ball dropping was aired again at 11:30 to allow other locations to have the countdown. As the ball dropped there was a rush of activity. Jackets and boots were flying around as little feet ran through the house. The wooden spoons and pots clinked and banged against walls.

 5,4,3,2...thump, thump, slam! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Screaming and banging pans, jumping up and down on the porch occurred. We shouting and yelled until our throats hurt and the people across the street told us to shut up.

There would always be a drunk neighbor sprinting through the snow banks with bare feet joining in. When the minute and our moment of freedom ended, we were told to shush and get back in the house.

Oddly, I felt sad about previous year. Even as a school girl, the year felt unfinished. What had I accomplished within the past year? What would happen in the new year?
Me, my niece and nephew and step daughter.
Resolutions seemed trivial to me. Self made promises to do something differently but why was it not attempted before?

If unsuccessful there would be either a period of unfulfilled feelings or indifference.

Equally as foolish was putting all my energy to wishing for my family to strike it rich. It is wonderful to have hopes and dreams.

I still have outlandish wants and hopes. It is what keeps looking forward to a new start.

The old year is often rejected and tossed out like yesterday's news. Of course there are year in review articles and reflections in the media. What about on a personal level? 2013 wasn't my greatest but can anyone say they had the best year ever?

A year in our lives is similar to melancholy and champagne. The taste had a splash of regret, with a burst of fizzy hopeful feelings that tickles the nose. Somehow the concoction gives due to the old year but the new energy flows like a cork after it is popped.

The mind altering sensation goes to the head and the room feels as if it is spinning. Drunk on happiness and excitement the new year is warmly welcomed.

The next day instead of acting depressed, New Years Day is spent with anticipation. However, let us not forget the residue of last year in the form of a hangover and greasy pizza boxes.