Tonight, I am choosing something that most people would balk at. I am choosing to decline the several offers to play tonight. I am choosing to stay inward, alone, and reflective. On purpose.

I have experienced 15 years of New Year’s Eve parties where I was surrounded by and laughing with beloveds, friends, and family, until midnight… when the couples paired up to kiss. At that point, I would find myself standing alone – meaning, without a partner, without MY “someone” – in a sea of kissing people and I would feel really uncomfortable. The parties of 2000-2012, I just felt weird. At the parties in 2013, 2014, and 2015, I cried at midnight. Last year, I cried so hard that, on my way home, I committed to never put myself through that ritual alone again. Hurts too much.

So, this year, I am blessing myself with a reprieve from the blatant reminder of my solitude. I am grateful for my solitary existence, most of the time. But there are really tender times when it’s not a happy thing and when it hurts. Over the years, I have learned what the triggers are and I’ve learned how to distract myself with something else, just like one does with a toddler who is fixated on a toy that is not theirs. I’ve also learned that there are just some situations that it serves me much better if I avoid going in, to begin with.

So, tonight, by choice, I am choosing to close this Enchanting year with quiet reflection on what 2016 brought me. I’m focusing on what l learned during these 365 days. I am remembering what I witnessed. I’m looking at what I accomplished. I am contemplating all I let go and all I welcomed in.

And tonight it is my hope that my tenderness will be less intense than it has been in the past because, truly, I AM grateful for my life. Truly.

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