By now, every person on earth (or in the U.S.) has most likely participated in at least one conversation about New Year's Eve plans. Some people look forward to it, others dread it. Those who look forward to it usually have something pretty special planned. Those who dread it usually don't. Lots of people harbor anxiety over New Year's Eve, primarily because of what seems to be the intense pressure to do something -- something festive, something big. I think single women feel this even more than most.
But, really, it's not necessary. While I like the idea of celebrating the passing of one year into another and all the hope and optimism that can bring, I do reject the notion that one has to mark this occasion in a big way. It's possible to have an enjoyable New Year's Eve without the forced exultations that seem to mark the holiday... and without a date.
A few things to think about:
Get Out of Town. Not running away, but taking an opportunity to totally mix it up for a moment: new surroundings, new activities, new people... new you, for a short while. Of course, the New Year's Eve week is one of the most expensive periods to travel, so make sure you really want to do it.
Go Party. If you're invited to a big party and you're up to it, go and have a blast - even if you don't have a date. A few years ago, I went to a friend's big New Year's Eve shindig with mixed emotions. I didn't have a date and knew the party would primarily be made up of couples. But a few of them were people I knew and wanted to see so I got dolled up, making sure I looked extra good -- which made me feel extra good. I went to the party and had a good time. I deliberately got there late so I wouldn't have to spend so much time there in case I felt a little self-conscious. I ate, drank and mingled, and then I left. You only have to stay for as long (or as short) a period of time as you want to. At midnight, I was wishing the cab driver a Happy New Year. But I had a nice time for the 1-1/2 hours I was there.
Have Your Own Party. It doesn't have to be a big deal. In fact, I usually prefer something small. Invite over a few people you like, order take-out (or cook, if you're so inclined), pop some bubbly and enjoy yourself. This is actually one of my favorite ways to spend New Year's Eve. I only want to bring in the New Year with people I know and really like.
Give Your Time. Lots of volunteer organizations can use an extra pair of hands, helping out with parties they throw for their customers or providing other services. Helping others is great way to bring in the New Year.
Go to Church/Temple/Mosque. Bringing in the New Year with fellow worshipers can be fulfilling.
Work Off Holiday Pounds. Lot of gyms and sports organizations are open for a
workout or group run. You may as well get started chipping away at the pounds you put on during the holiday season.
Do Nothing. You don't have to do anything... but only do nothing if that's what you really want to do, not because you are feeling pouty about your options or lack of.
Really, we should all relax. Ringing in the New Year can be pretty fun, but it's only fun if you're doing it in a way that works for you. So that's what you should do on New Year's Eve: whatever you want to do!
Happy New Year, everybody!