By Toni Coleman, LCSW
It's four weeks away and you don't have any plans. Many of your friends will be away or out with their significant others. You can't believe it's been a whole year and you are facing another dateless New Years Eve. What can you do?
If the above sounds familiar, it may be time for some quiet reflection that allows you to really think about what this holiday means to you and how you want to observe it. You may have more options available to you than you realize, especially if you feel stuck on that one idea of going out with a date and "celebrating". If you tap into your creativity, you can design an evening that works for you and helps you to begin the New Year on the right note.
The following is a general list of possibilities that you can add to:
- Plan an evening out with friends. You can go to dinner, a movie, a club or theatre or a combination of these.
- Plan an evening in with friends. Have a pot luck meal, rent a few movies, splurge of some great desserts and just enjoy each other's company.
- Plan an evening out alone. Go to a favorite restaurant for a quiet meal, catch a movie, go hear a band or visit your favorite pub where you may be able to connect with some people you know.
- Plan a nice evening home alone. You can either cook or order take out from your favorite restaurant, rent a favorite movie, splurge on a special dessert or all of the above. Perhaps you would rather have a light meal followed by a long soak in the tub or a few hours in your favorite cozy spot, reading a good book.
- Start a quiet celebration early on the 31st. Treat yourself to a massage, manicure, facial, work-out with a personal trainer, time in the steam room or sauna- to name a few possibilities. Then you can follow this up with one of the above for your evening. If you end up home alone, you will have had a day of pleasant self-indulgence that will leave you rested, relaxed and ready for a good night's sleep.
If you choose a night alone on New Year's Eve you may want to have a special plan for New Year's Day. Some possibilities?
- Check with friends about parties that may be going on at the home of an acquaintance or hosted in a local restaurant or pub.
- If the weather is nice, consider doing something outdoors. Many areas of the country have ski areas within a two-hour drive that offer a whole range of outdoor activities. You can invite along a friend (s) or go solo, depending upon who is available. Hiking, biking, ice-skating or any snow related activities (depending upon the area you live in) are perfect at this time of year. It's also a great way to begin the year's resolution of getting (staying) in shape and leading a healthier lifestyle. After an outdoor workout, hot chocolate and a meal of comfort food by a warm fire really hits the spot.
- If you are not into planning/participating in something out, consider a project at home. Many of us have unfinished organizing, paperwork and decorating tasks that we would love to get handled and off our to-do lists. How great it would feel to tackle some of this and bask in that feeling of accomplishment afterwards. This does not have to be a day of drudgery. Have music or a movie playing in the background. Take time out for a nice brunch, lunch or dinner. An early dinner with a friend would be a nice way to wrap up it all up.
Whatever you decide to do with this holiday, keep in mind it's significance of a new beginning. What a great time to start fresh and set those goals that will lead to the life changes you desire. Taking action will make a difference. The choice is up to you.
Have a restful, pleasant and productive New Year. Happy Holidays!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. I have come to dread New Year's Eve. It is truly a time that reminds me that another year has passed and I'm still single- and dateless. I have developed a really bad attitude about the whole thing. I'm now torn as to how to handle my plans- or whether to even make any. I want to "start the New Year" right and want to get out of this slump. However, the thought of going through the motions to "celebrate" is downright depressing. Any thoughts or suggestions would be very appreciated.
A. You are not alone. This day of symbolic significance has many singles feeling torn about how they want to "celebrate" its arrival. The good news? You can ignore the pressures around you to go through the empty motions of a traditional event and tailor a plan that helps you to get your year off to the right (more positive/productive) start.
I know, I know, it's not easy. If it were, you would already have mastered it. So, where do you begin? Think about what you need right now. More relaxation, down-to-earth fun with friends, a complete break with routines or something else? Spend some time really thinking about this. Then come up with a list of options for how you WANT to mark the evening.
You can go out or stay home. You can do either of these with a friend (s) or alone. Since the holiday begins on the day of New Year's Eve and ends the night of the first, you can have several different plans/activities for that time frame. Consider staying indoors or participating in an outdoor activity or sport. Do you have a favorite restaurant, pub, movie or band you like to listen to? Any or all of these could be available to you. Do you enjoy getting a massage, facial, manicure or other "treatment"? Does working out provide you with greater energy and a better outlook? The 31st is on a Saturday this year and there is still time to schedule these in.
Whatever you decide, be careful to NOT go through the motions because you think that is what you are "supposed" to do. What a great time to take control of your life - and destiny- and do what feels right for you and will set you on the right path for the New Year. Just remember, if you keep doing what you have always done, you will keep getting the same results. Make this holiday a new beginning. Let 2005 be the year you find the right path to your life and relationship goals.
As you mark your new year, don't forget to get your relationship plan designed. Once you know what you want and what the resources are for finding it, take action. At this time of new beginnings, everything feels promising and full of hope. Use that energy to take some (calculated) risks, move past your comfort zone and stay focused on what matters most to you and your future. Just imagine what 2005 could bring to your life and where you could be in one year....
If you would like more help and advice on developing or implementing your relationship plan, contact *****@*****.tld. Don't let this season slip into spring without taking advantage of all the fun ways that are now available all around you to meet compatible (and ready for a relationship) singles.
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