January 1st: I think Simon & Garfunkel songs will make great lullabys, I said, as Mrs. Robinson played in the car on our way to my in-laws for New Year’s Day dinner.
Our kids are going to like good music, Jonathan pronounces and we laugh. I am well aware, that eventually–if we have kid(s)–we will probably have some kid tunes playing that will make us want to drive the car into the nearest embankment to make it stop.
I don’t let on to him that I know this.
What happened to music? Jonathan always asks this question. Tonight he shook his head and started singing For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her. I love it when he sings. He continues, Listen to that, hear that? Voice of an angel. Listen to his voice. Listen to that audience. What audience would do that?
His enthusiasm for the small things is another one of the many reasons I fell in love with him.
They don’t make audiences like that anymore, I said. We high-five each other in the car while singing I Am a Rock.
He knows all the lyrics word for word. I make up my own to about half the song, or hum the melody through the lyrics I do not know. I have done this since I was little. My ability to hear words other than the ones that are being said has not changed. I think I get this trait from Mawmaw.
Ellen was teaching on New Year’s Day. I woke up an hour before I had to leave for yoga. I arrive feeling heavy from the night before. My joints were achy, especially my left shoulder. I take it slow and steady.
We start seated on our mats and my wanders briefly to many New Year’s Day mornings from the past.
My step-Mom (Sandy) and her roommate (Sherry) had New Year’s Eve parties before she was married to my father. Gennifre (Sherry’s daughter) and I would play hostesses until they either sent us to bed, or we just passed out on our own. It was always fun to get up on New Year’s Day and watch the adults hungover. We had so much energy when we woke up; we would start performing for them. We were completely clueless of the pain they were actually in until we were old enough to experience said pain ourselves.
I was lucky to have multiple adults to lean on growing up, many of them came from this exact period. Sherry. Sandy’s other good friend, Connie. They were all at my wedding.
Gennifre and I had a village long before Hillary Clinton declared one was needed.
Nothing screams New Year’s Eve like Electric Slide at 3:30am. Working as an event manager for Chezzam parties all over the eastern seaboard, I would always get stuck outside of Philadelphia with the Russians — who don’t even start New Year’s Eve festivities until around 11:00pm and go until 4:00am or later! The Russians are made of stronger stock than me. Chezzam parties were always full of songs I swore would never be played at my wedding … and they weren’t.
During the period when I was always working New Year’s Eve, I hated the holiday. I spent one New Year’s Eve working in Times Square. There is no amount of money you could pay me to do it again, not even for pleasure.
We hold plank pose for what seems like an eternity. My shoulder gives way and I have to put my knees down. I always find it fascinating how the body can literally change from one day to the next. Two days earlier, my body felt great. One little chicken friend steak (with mashed potatoes and cream gravy) and I’m achy and falling all over the place.
I repeat the collapse to my knee as we do side plank. I am only slightly frustrated; it passes.
I bring myself through all of the poses, slow and steady, not pushing anything. I still have 23 days to go, and I don’t want an injury.
As I am in a standing forward fold with my legs spread open in a V position, I wonder how long it will be until my head touches the floor. Will those hamstrings ever let go? It’s gotten to where I can think something in yoga without too much analysis. It’s more like an observation that pops up and moves on.
Jonathan and I rang in the new year of 2005 in Vienna. We drank champagne out of glasses and threw them down on the street when finished. Breaking the glass like this is some sort of Viennese tradition; we just did it. They also walked around wearing Schweinmasken (pig masks) and jumped up and down to a bad European remix of John Denver’s County Road. We joined in jumping up and down to John Denver, but we did not have a pig mask.
Thinking about all of this makes me chuckle as I press up into bridge pose. Though the rest of practice I tried to clear my mind, getting ready for the new year. I’m full of many emotions, trying not to let any one of them move too far out in front of the others. My goal is trying to stay even through all of the ups and downs I am bound to experience in the coming weeks.
Class ended almost 20 minutes late. I did not even notice the extra time. I take this as a good sign that I am no longer focused on the clock at yoga.
When I get home I start cooking the bacon for the greens I have agreed to make for dinner. I pop open one of the last Dr. Peppers from a 12-pack I bought at the beginning of the holiday season. I also begin to munch on bacon. That IS as terrible as it sounds.
I drink a shot of wheat grass juice before leaving the house in an effort to counteract the damage — knowing full well there is no way to counteract that sort of damage.
We watch the Rose Bowl at the first party where I continue eating things slightly healthier than bacon and Dr. Pepper — if you think cornflakes covered in peanut butter and butterscotch is healthier than bacon and Dr. Pepper. In my opinion, the jury is still out on that.
We get to my in-laws where my mother-in-law and I proceed to fry up buttermilk fried chicken tenders, served with gravy, coleslaw, black-eyed peas, greens, biscuits — we toasted the dinner with champagne (fried chicken tenders just screams, Pop open the champagne!) — and to top off the gluttony she made my favorite from scratch: Red Velvet Cake.
It was an incredibly satisfying meal, and ended my 24-hours of gluttony. I fell asleep on the couch for three hours. Literally.
People think I fall asleep because I am bored … I actually fall asleep because I feel comfortable and relaxed enough to do so.
Jonathan and I continued our Simon & Garfunkel concert in the car on the way home with Bridge Over Troubled Water and Homeward Bound.
It’s always fun to look across time at the friendships that stick with you. Gennifre is definitely one of those.
Here’s to old friends, new friends and all the friends we have not met yet. And good music, we have to toast good music.
And to a blessed 2013 for all of us!