Posted by: Kristy | December 30, 2008

Let the countdown begin

OK, so I have this odd quirk I need to get out in the open.

Today is the final day of easy breathing and non-freaking-out of 2008, at least as far as I’m concerned.

Ever since I was a teenager, New Year’s Eve began to lose its appeal year after year until we reached the point where I’m 24 and preparing myself for an anxiety attack tomorrow at, oh, 11:50 p.m. It will escalate until at 11:59 p.m. I will be reminding myself to breathe and looking around frantically for a glass of champagne to chug the minute I’m allowed. I don’t enjoy it at all.

I can be in a room full of people. I can be standing next to my best friend. I can be with my family. And I still almost puke when everyone else is smiling and kissing and hugging and shouting joy to the new year.

The year that draws me older. And closer to death. And reminds me of how much I still have to accomplish. And how time is flying by, damn it! I still have so many places where I want to travel … I need to go to grad school … and buy a house … and no one is ever going to love me enough to keep me for, oh, I don’t know, life … and I haven’t bought my wiener dog named Earnie yet … and I still don’t know what the flip I want to be when I grow up … and … WHEW. Chill, chica.

I’m not sure from where this momentary pessimism stems. My mom laughs at me. I get aggrivated with myself because I am a positive, vibrant, hopeful person. I should be genuinely responding to the occasion instead of faking it the way I do. Nope. That would be too easy. Too normal. Instead my overactive mind is literally screaming Oh, God … 9 … this sucks … 8 … my heart’s going to explode out of my chest … 7 … I’m going to wipe that smile off of Dick Clark’s face, yes I am .. 6 … Oh, God … 5 … did the clock speed up … 4 … I think it did … 3 … it DID! It’s going faster … 2 … OH, GOD … 1 … I hope my smile doesn’t look as fake as it FEELS … “Happy New Year!”

It’s not fun. Nor pretty. Sigh.

I addressed this strange, strange facet of my mind in a column while I was still at the newspaper two years ago in hopes that focusing on the good of the fading year would help me meet the new year with open arms.

It kind of helped. So now, two years later, I’m going to try it again. Then I made a list of lessons and accomplishments from that past year.

Here’s my list from 2008:
• You never know who or what is literally going to waltz into your life. Things can change in a handshake, or 30 minutes. When you look back on the changes there are always good ones and always bad ones wrapped up in the same catalyst. Ninety-eight percent of the time, it’s worth it.

• When you get become more frustrated in a career than you are passionate about it, it’s time for a change. Some change. But if you wait too long the frustration only gets worse and the passion only fades. Take action sooner rather than later.

• I really, really need to get that dog I always talk about. Soon. I’m lonely.

• My family gets exponentially cooler as I get older.

• Out of sight really does mean out of mind when it comes to many friendships. Humans are fickle and strange like that.

• Staying in something that makes you unhappy is a form of quitting. And I’m not a quitter.

• When you ask the Holy Spirit to groan and intercede because you don’t know HOW to pray anymore, and you mean it, it rocks your world. I never before have felt such a simultaneous mix of intense physical, spiritual and emotional pain cocktailed with absurd growth and awesomeness. Words don’t describe.

• Late-night TV options have drastically improved since I was a kid. Children’s programming has drastically declined. Odd.

• Putting a job on hold when it’s time to be a wife and mother is creeping up my priority list. That will probably hit right around when I want to get back in the news industry. Can anyone say freelance?

• I let people walk all over me sometimes. I kind of want to change that.

• I still feel like I’m 17 sometimes. That has its perks. It has its drawbacks. I’ll focus on the perks. 🙂

And, lastly, my final lesson from 2006 still holds true:

• “The best years of my life” can happen for my entire life. No, life will not stop moving so I can catch my breath, but that does not mean I have a reason for lamenting my rapidly vanishing youth or wishing to relive key moments of what seem – to this point – the “best years” of my short 22 here.
More seasoned folks may scoff as I admit that with my 23rd birthday looming less than a month away I am dreading how quickly time passes, faster and faster the older I become.
But while I know 23 is not “old” by any stretch, it’s easy to become despondent at how quickly amazing situations, events and relationships fade into warm memories.
While I count down the final seconds of 2006 with the rest of the world, hopefully I’ll take those last 60 seconds to appreciate, not mourn, the memories, mistakes and lessons – then welcome in the new year with a genuine smile, for once in my life.

So, come tomorrow night … I guess we’ll see. 🙂 If you need me, I’ll be the one off to the side. Fighting the deer in the headlights look.

But in a few seconds it’s over. And then I get 364 days, 23 hours and 50 minutes to breathe again. Hurray.


  1. […] my past history and all of the mental prep work I did leading up to last night, when the Big Moment finally came […]

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