Hey y’all! I hope everyone’s new year is so far, so good.
I have a ton of resolutions this year.
Last year I learned fake lashes and bullet journaled for the entire year.
This year I’ve lost count. But I’m going to post more, I’ve started a planner and a tracking journal, and joined a gym. Big plans, baby!
Definitely going to post more.
And maybe not have so much bulging disc in my neck.
And hopefully find out if I have lupus or what.
And walk more since I’m too tired to run.
And sketch more.
May the coming year be filled with wishes, hopes and dreams for each and every one of us, whether fulfilled or unfulfilled. Let them make our lives richer and brighter and happier.
It’s a new year again!
2016 feels different. I told Ian that last night, and when he asked, my explanation was brief: 2016 means it’s twenty years since I graduated high school.
I feel old. But really, neither mentally old nor physically old. More how did things get this far old. I’ve lived more of my life after high school than before it.
It isn’t a bad feeling, just mystifying.
It feels like 2016 should be the Year of Something. It’s the year of the monkey by the Chinese calendar; I wonder if I could make that work for me.
I know I sound like a broken record, but it feels different. I don’t know how to explain it. I’ve never had a New Year that meant anything to me; it’s always been the same old story.
Maybe 2016 is the Year of Writing. I’ve already made a goal to publish a collection of short stories. And I have to work on Strange Bedfellows.
Or maybe 2016 will be the Year of Nothing Special–a feat in itself. No major life changes, no upheavals, no panic and worry and stress. Is that what this feeling is? It’s possible.
For the first time in a long time, I feel at peace with where my life is right now. I have worries, but they’re normal worries. I have stress, but it’s laughable to me to call it stress with what we’ve gone through the past few years.
I’ve spent a long time telling myself that it’ll all work out okay, and I think, for the first time, I believe it. At least for a year.
I’m starting it off oddly; I’m taking a hot bath as I type. Skin-reddeningly hot: that’s not me.
So I reflect in the water.
One year ago, I considered who I’d like to be; I wanted to be hip. I still want to be hip, but I’ve done a pretty darn good job of hipping it up in the past year. I got a tattoo and several new holes in my head. I’m even stamping my nails and have nearly mastered the cut crease.
Two years ago, I shamed myself for not writing. Two years, and I’m such a different person than I was then. When I read my words, I can’t connect myself to the person who wrote them. I’m different. And it’s good.
Three years ago, I was hopeful; but again, I don’t feel myself in those words anymore. She was someone even farther back, and not just chronologically.
Four years ago, my first New Year’s Day at this blog, I was stagnant. And there, finally, I do recognize myself; not because I’m the same, but because today so starkly contrasts with the New Years of yesteryear.
I have always been depressed on New Year’s Day because nothing is ever new. No new beginnings, no new me, no new you.
And today, I’m not.
I like that.
Nothing special can be pretty special, after all. Especially with fancy bath salts from the Bathhouse Soapery and Caldarium.
The coming of a new year has always had me hopeful…until it gets here. Every year I hope I’ll wake up and be hopeful and excited about the blank slate I have for another year of my life.
And every year it’s just the day that followed yesterday.
It’s like growing up. When you’re a kid, you think it’s like some magical switch, you turn a certain age, and bam! You feel like a responsible adult. But I still feel the same.
It’s like hair color. You find the perfect shade, and somehow expect to have to great hair you never had before. But it still has to same refusal to look magazine worthy for more than five minutes. Same hair, different color.
New Year’s Day is depressing for me. It’s the same problems I couldn’t fix last year, but all at once. Not that they don’t all interlock anyway.
I need meaning and purpose to my life, and I just haven’t found any yet. I signed up for NaBloPoMo yesterday, maybe that will give me some help. I tend to follow through a little better when I announce my plans.
When I have more I’ll announce them.
Maybe that’ll be soon.
I have been feeling pretty indigo recently (more on that later), but I knew I’d never forgive myself for not commemorating the New Year. And so, I’ll share with you our traditions.
We live near a casino/racetrack, and they (almost) always have a huge fireworks display for New Year’s Eve. We could see most of it from our porch, but we go get a parking spot where we can see the whole thing. Then we come home and toast with champagne or sparkling wine. I get a glass plus a glass minus a sip, since hubby doesn’t like it. Then we snuggle a bit and go to bed, because it’s fricking late.
I’m neither the night owl nor the party animal I once was.
New Year’s Day, of course, we have cabbage and black-eyed peas.
Cabbage for money, and it’s really good fried up in some bacon grease. I’ve always loved cabbage, although I only had it steamed or raw until I was twenty-five.
And black-eyed peas for luck, and I’ll share my recipe with you. When I was a kid, I hated black-eyed peas, and would only eat five at my mother’s insistence. Now, of course, I love them, especially cooked like this, over some rice.
The first step is to serve a ham for Christmas dinner. Okay, not essential, but if you had a ham, keep the bone.
You will need:
1 lb dry black-eyed peas
2-4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 Tbsp Worchestershire sauce
1-2 tsp hot sauce
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp Cajun seasoning
2 Tbsp flour
Ham bone or 1/2 lb pork tasso
If you’re serving early, start the morning before. If late, you can wait until the evening before.
Rinse and sort the peas and leave them in your pot with 6-8 cups of water to soak for at least 6 hours, or up to 24 if you got started that early.
After the soaking, drain the peas. Cover them with 4 cups of stock and/or water, and put them over medium-low heat. Drop in ham bone or cubed tasso, if desired. Stir in Worchestershire, hot sauce, vinegar, pepper, and seasoning. Cover and simmer about two hours, or until tender. I’m making mine in my slow cooker tonight, so they’ll have about 12 hours on low.
Combine flour with 1/2 cup cold water, and stir in. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, another 15 minutes. If using a slow cooker, just replace the lid after stirring the flour in and give it another half an hour. And you’re done.
Good luck all year!
Do you have a special meal for New Year’s Day?