How about this for a symbolic New Year's image? Wouldn't it be thrilling if we could all enter into the new year as if reborn?
I could definitely use some kind of cleansing at the moment. I like the idea of January 1 as a fresh start -- hope springs eternal and all that -- but the truth is that I tend to feel fuzzy, lumpy and headachey on the first day of the year. This year, I felt jetlaggy as well . . . as we re-entered England just in time for my mother-in-law's 80th birthday celebrations, which quickly segued into the 48 hour food and drink fest also known as our annual New Year's Eve house party. I need the holiday bit where you hang out in your pajamas and watch old movies for a couple of days . . . and then I might be ready for a rebirth.
Although we were in the Bahamas this time last week, only the pictures and my daughters' peachy tans could prove it. I am as wan and logy as can be.
Poor Sigmund never did make it to the Caribbean, and we spent our first Christmas apart in 17 years -- first and last, we have resolved. We ran up such a big phone bill that our service got cut off . . . and we hadn't even realized that we had a spending limit! We both ended up being with our original families, and the cultural contrast was undeniably amusing. My Texas family spent the day swimming and beach-walking, and the day culminated in a chicken-foot domino tournament. Our biggest indulgence was passing around the Christmas candy, and we were all in bed by 10:30 pm. Sigmund's English family spent the afternoon at the Caterham pub, followed by a big Christmas dinner -- "all the trimmings" and then some. After feasting, they drank, smoked and danced their way to a 4 am finish. Which Christmas would you have preferred?
When it comes to pleasure domes, we all have our own notions.
The island we stayed on was called Paradise -- optimistic, hubristic or just opportunistic? Although you can't entirely spoil the Caribbean, I would describe it as crassly commercial -- but you wouldn't get my youngest daughter to agree. Sun and sand really are her idea of bliss. She was born in the Caribbean, just after Christmas in fact, so perhaps the islands are embedded in the pleasure center of her brain. My ideas of paradise are rather different . . . and probably most closely resemble being in my own bed with a good book! Or, if I'm feeling more adventurous, perhaps I'd read that book at some city bookstore or café. While my gutsy children and their cousins swam with dolphins and parasailed, I tended to be on the sidelines holding the camera. Is it just a coincidence that the only picture of me on the camera is the one below?
(The Bahamas are totally Americanized.)
Which brings me to the subject of New Year's resolutions!
During my frenzied spree of pre-holiday Christmas carding, I made haphazard contact with a college English professor -- who was loved, admired and feared by me (and many others) in equal measure. I sent her my blog URL, and she replied, "really, beedrunken?" by email. Is it just me, or is there a raised eyebrow, a withering tone, in that "really?"
I do realize that Bee Drunken gives off a whiff of the Girls Gone Wild for the uninitiated; ironic, really, as I am such a boringly teetotal sort of person. And yet, it has so much personal resonance for me. I need to remind myself, pretty much daily, to live my life with emotional intensity -- to not detach myself. My loner side and my more extroverted side war with each other every day, and so often that loner side wins.
Which brings me to the corollary and concrete aspect of my New Year's resolution: I resolve to return phone calls and emails more promptly and faithfully! Thus resolved, I have many Christmas thank-yous to dispatch . . . and bloggy friends to visit.