I’ve been told that the way we spend the first few days of a new year is the way we’re meant to spend the rest of that year.
I don’t believe it one bit.
My first few hours of 2014 were spent in a frantic search for whipped cream. The rest of the year? Well, I can safely say, I’ve spent very little of the remainder of 2014 seeking out Reddi-Whip.So, I guess, there goes that prophecy.
Nevertheless, after last year, I’ve crossed driving into the parking lot of a Stop and Shop at 5am off my bucket list. Except it wasn’t quite a Stop and Shop. We were in DC, so it was called a Giant. And yes, it was just as empty as one would expect it to be – the only shoppers being disgruntled truckers, groggy employees, and us, rabidly searching for whipped cream and strawberries in order to make waffles.
My first few days of 2015 have been (a tad) different. So far, I’ve done the following:
- Got my hair cut for the first time in 7 months. Anyone who is close to me will know this is a big, nay a huge, deal because I am extremely protective of my hair and the thought of letting someone whose language I don’t speak fluently handle it petrifies me.
- Actually went out and bought Shampoo (I am an adult. Therefore, I should stop washing my hair with soap)
- Realized that the bottles of Shampoo and Conditioner I bought were actually two bottles of conditioner.
- Immediately went back to washing my hair with soap.
- Drank two bottles of white wine, while pretending to be cooking Italian food.
- Ran 7 miles (Not in a new year’s resolution way, I’ve actually been good about jogging recently and ran 24 out of 31 days in December, preparing for a marathon I had drunkenly signed up for, even if I find running ever so boring)
- Spent the first Saturday & Sunday of 2015 at work (typical).
- Got out of a funk I’ve been in around the holidays, because, who would have imagined I’d be spending (yet another) Christmas in China?
- Finally joined Twitter (yes, http://twitter.com/republicofmaria is now a thing that exists)
Why Twitter? Why now? Well, I’ve stubbornly refused to have a Facebook for years and although this lack of a social presence has made life so much more calm, it’s also caused a number of inconveniences. Recently, I tried to sign up on a website and I needed a Twitter or a Facebook for the account. And while I have no desire to reactivate my Facebook (last year, I reluctantly did it for barely a week to tell people that I was moving across the globe and to write a particular Facebook message). Nonetheless, I think I do need to break my social media hiatus (which I partially started doing in 2014 by reactivating my Instagram). And though I still don’t quite know what to post on Twitter (I’ve also been posting a few too many photos of food on Instagram for my liking, lately), 140 characters can’t be that hard, right?
Why the holiday funk? I’ve always felt that the holidays bring out weird, often unnecessary, ruminations about life and whatnot. Also, having spent my last Christmas in Beijing, it was hard not to think back on the past year and question whether I had made the right choice by returning to China. In April of 2014, a few months before coming to Shanghai, I had written about Bad Omens surrounding my trip, and how silly they would probably seem in retrospect. Honestly, I was right. About the worrying, not about the ill omens. I still think the timing of some things in December was ill-fated. While Russians do believe in this idea of ‘good’ omens (they call them “судьба”), I don’t count myself among them. I try to hold out for optimism in even the bleakest of times.
So yes, the foreboding sense of the holidays has passed and I’m now ready to take on the coming year, bad timing notwithstanding. I don’t care about omens, good or bad. This time, I’ll make my own.