It’s the first day of a brand new year, and it’s Thursday! That makes this edition of #3ThingsThursday my kick-off post for 2015! Hope you all woke up hopeful, happy and feeling blessed. I’m super excited about starting this new chapter; there’s a lot on the horizon for Let ME Out!! and my work as a freelance writer and speaker. There are also plenty of family adventures that I will share with you, and I hope you will do the same with me. If you have anything you want to share with me, now or in the future, feel free to leave a comment or drop me a private email. I want to know what you are up to, and if it’s something I can let my readers know about, I’m happy to do it!

Back to #3ThingsThursday – this is a linkup that features a blogger’s thoughts in 3’s. If you’d like to join in on the fun and meet new readers, please visit the hosts Pink Chai Living, The Write Balance and Love Laugh Mirch.

For this edition, I thought I’d tell you about…New Year’s Eve – my past, present and future.

New Year’s Eve Past

I was never actually a fan of the whole thing. The thought of leaving behind a year I had grown comfortable in and jumping into the great abyss of a new calendar was nerve-wracking. What was so exciting about letting go of the familiar and being thrust into the unknown at the stroke of midnight? In high school, I tried to explain this to a friend of mine who stared back at me blankly and asked, “Do you always have to think so deeply about things?”

I also loathed the whole, “What are YOU doing for New Year’s?” because I felt like I never really fit into any of the shenanigans. I played along for a few years, hanging out at parties that became a drunken mess, going to after parties where the drunken mess continued. Feeling tired and like I just wanted to be home in my pj’s. And then one awesome year – I think it was my first year of college – I had plans with some fair weather friends (you know, the kind who called on you when it was convenient for them, but when it came down to it, you were never the first ones they thought of) and as I was getting ready for the night, I got a call from one of them. Plans had changed, could I meet them after midnight at the after party instead? A HUGE sense of relief washed over me. I had a reason to say no. It wasn’t convenient to leave my house after midnight and go downtown from where I lived.

No. And voila. The perfect New Year’s Eve was presented to me: I rented a couple movies, watched them until midnight, wished my parents a Happy New Year from the party they were at, got a few more calls from some meaningful people in my life and went to bed feeling so awesome. It was the first New Year’s Eve that I spent with my very best friend – me – and it was everything I hoped it would be.

New Year’s Eve Present

That New Year’s Eve, as my mom was getting ready to go out, she came into my room with a sad look. “You sure you don’t want to go somewhere else?” Nope. “One day you will meet someone and you will have someone to spend every New Year’s with,” she assured me.

Well, that year I did meet someone who I have spent every New Year’s with since 2002. Since we started a family in 2007, we have spent New Year’s with our kids, doing an early countdown with them and then spending the rest of the evening enjoying each other’s company. Usually there is chocolate and a movie involved. There have been variances on this theme; sometimes we have other families over or we go over to someone’s house. Last night, the 5 of us played board games and ate waaaaayyyy too many appetizers before watching Annie on DVD. The kids went to bed at 8 after we made a lot of noise at the sound of the microwave beep signalling the ‘arrival’ of 2015. Then the hubs and I watched a movie, and stayed up till midnight talking and dreaming.

It wasn’t sparkly. I wasn’t dressed to the nines, although I did have my yoga pants on as opposed to just my pj’s. But for us, for now, it was perfect.

New Year’s Eve Future 

I have to admit, when I first had the idea to post about this, I considered what I would like New Year’s Eve to look like in the future. I imagined myself in a gold dress that made me twinkle like a movie star. Hair done, makeup on, shiny nails. I imagined kissing the children good night and leaving instructions for the sitter, then stepping out into the night on my husband’s arm, anticipating good food and music till at least past midnight!

But then last night, as we sat around our dining table matching letters to the Scrabble board (kid’s version, of course!) I realized just how safe and cozy and safe that moment was. As my son called out, “My turn!” and placed the letter G to complete GOAT, my thoughts raced ahead to 10 years from now. He will be turning 15, my daughter turning 18…my baby…11! The teenagers would want to be with their friends. Away from us. In the dark night. With all those…drunken messes! How would I know they were ok? Where would they be? With who? Could my husband and I, with our 11 year old ‘baby’, follow them around all night without them knowing? How would I let them go?

So needless to say, I had to stop my train of thoughts (which is threatening to go full speed ahead even now as I write this) and just take it one year at a time.

I don’t know what the future will look like. I can only hope and pray that we all stay safe and happy and healthy throughout the years, enjoying each celebratory milestone, each step forward, each dream achieved as they come.

Happy New Year, my amazing readers! Thank you for tuning in and for being part of my milestones, steps and dreams. Keep it locked here for more stories on authentic, creative and charitable living – and doing it all in the messy joy of motherhood.