I love watching the ball drop on television with Anderson and Kathy in Times Square, but when that's over (and I mean real-time, which is 9 p.m. Pacific Standard Time) I'm ready to pack it in for bed, sleeping through my own local midnight and the ensuing madness and excess that comes with it.
Since moving to the coast, we've established some nice New Year's traditions that fit my own beliefs about the holiday nicely. For New Year's Eve, for instance, we go to a very nice Italian restaurant in town and have an early 6 p.m. dinner. This year it was angel hair pasta with olive oil and tomatoes, paired with a lovely August Ridge Sangiovese. I like the idea of knowing (as much as anyone really can I guess) that next year, I will hopefully be sitting in the same restaurant having a lovely and romantic meal with Big Ag, just like we always do.
|Italian Varietals. Mmm, Mmm, Good!|
New Year's Day has its own traditions. The dawn usually breaks very cold and we get up early, clear-headed and chipper (mostly), and head to the beach for the Cayucos Polar Bear Plunge. This year we had our sons Groceries and TrainMan with us, which made it a family affair, although only Groceries and I were bad-ass enough to brave the cold Pacific waters when they counted down at noon and everyone made a run for the surf.
Next year both Train Man and Big Ag say they're in for the plunge; I would guess there is a moment of regret (and, dare I say -- envy) amongst those left on land once the countdown is done and there is much celebrating and frolicking in the waves, giving the participants a year's worth of bragging rights for having successfully made the plunge.
I am a bit philosophical about it: Life is like the New Year's Polar Bear Plunge. You can sit on the safety and comfort of dry land and watch, or run into the surf, for better or worse. And every minute of every year, you make a choice about which you are going to do. Sometimes it is better to stay on the safety of land, no question....but when the sun is shining and the beach is warm and the water is clean and beckoning, then to stay on land seems a mistake. But that's just me.
And so, we begin anew. And like my elegant New Year's Eve Italian dinner, I like to think that next year will offer my family the opportunity to repeat our New Year's Day tradition -- to start the fresh new year by taking a cleansing, invigorating plunge into Mother Sea to wash away the sins of the past year and emerge shivering and happy into the new one.
Happy 2015, everyone!