Wishes for a New Year: 2015
Years ago my mother said that what you do over New Year’s sets the tone for how your whole year will go. I think she only said it the once, but it’s stuck with me and I think of it with each new year. I make conscious choices in how I spend New Year’s Eve and Day that I hope will resonate throughout the next 12 months, in a way asking Fate or the Universe or whatever to include these things in my life.
We haven’t gone out for New Year’s Eve in at least 8 years-I never liked being crammed in a club getting my toes stepped on and drinking bad champagne, and once you have kids those wild nights become even less appealing. With my superstitions about the new year I choose to spend it with my children and Jason, the most important people in my life. This New Year’s we decided that instead of staying home we’d spend it in Kansas City with my childhood friend Erin and her family. We’ve known each other for most of our lives, so long that even when we haven’t talked in months we can pick up right where we left off. Our children band together in a wild tribe and roam the house, and our husbands both speak computer and sports. It’s a good time for everyone.
So my first wish of the New Year: Quality time with my family and friends.
We hadn’t seen the Kansas City aquarium so that was a priority for this visit. They say fish tanks are therapeutic, that watching the fish swim can lower blood pressure and produce a meditative state that calms the body and mind. I believe it, so a large walk-through aquarium is like a spa retreat for me. It’s also a learning experience for the kids (yes, I’m becoming one of those parents who seizes on teachable moments and throws out facts about whatever we’re looking at.)
Although the aquarium in Minnesota at the Mall of America is bigger, KC’s Sea Life aquarium was fine with me. We even timed it right to see the feeding of the sharks and rays in the large tank and later the seahorses (did you know that if seahorses keep being removed from the oceans at this rate in 20 years they could all be gone? Teachable moment.) My girls were fascinated with a sea turtle that rested near them as they sat in a tunnel, and another that was missing a fin. Erin said her kids have never spent so long there, and I like to think our interest in the underwater world had something to do with that.
Wish #2: For the ocean be part of our daily lives.
Choosing to travel out of state for the New Year was also due to my wanderlust. Any time the kids have multiple days without school in a row I am seized by an urge to use that precious time off to take a road trip somewhere (anywhere!) With our deadline to leave the U.S. only 6 months away I feel an urge to make the most of our time here, to see all we can of our home country and visit friends whenever we have time. Who knows when we’ll be here again.
Wish #3: Travel and explore.
There are really only a few people that I can visit and feel completely at ease, no stress, no strained relationships or awkward politeness. Erin’s house is one of these sanctuaries, a comfortable place that I feel safe and relaxed. Plus her home cooked food is amazing.
Wish #4: Relax and enjoy life more.
You might notice that there are no career or weight loss goals. This goes deeper than that, it’s what I really want on a daily basis, things that will be important to me for as long as I live. Careers change, weight goes up and down, and yeah we all have some bad habits. I’m asking the Fates for more permanent changes when I think of what I want in this next year.
So thanks to Erin and her family for starting our New Year off right. 2015 is going to mean a lot of changes for our family, and the road is not always going to be smooth but I think the things I’ve asked for are not only reasonable they are completely doable.
After we got home I asked 5-year-old Rory if she had fun. She said yes, thought a minute and gave a big sigh. “I miss them already.”