As I bid adieu to yet another year, I can’t help but ponder New Years Eve’s of past. Where I was, what I was doing, and most importantly, who I was with.
Of course the most recent one comes to mind first. After having spent Christmas week of 2012 in Vienna with my errant Australian husband to see if our relationship was salvageable, and mutually deciding with a most emphatic “NO” that it was not, I was crashing on the couch of my good friend Maria, another Army ex-wife who took pity on my facebook plea for last-minute shelter abroad. After cancelling the second half of our European “Marriage hail Mary” trip that was supposed to continue on over New Years in Budapest, the Aussie and I had parted ways amicably; him safely in a Frankfurt airport hotel, and me cocooned in the embrace of Maria’s CBD (central business district- you WANT to live there!) Wiesbaden flat with her, her children, and their entourage of interesting and welcoming expat friends.
Although I was sad to miss Budapest, there is nowhere quite like Germany for New Years. The fireworks start days ahead of time, randomly popping sounds causing you to pause and listen for a moment. From Maria’s very upper floor vantage point, the fireworks echoed through the narrow cobblestone passageways all the way up, amplified by the closeness of the building across the way. The plan for that night was a nice dinner, bottles of wine and bubbly for us three wild mothers of children ranging from roughly eight to twenty years old, and to set off fireworks with the younger kids that were too young to hit the clubs.
Close to midnight, we headed down and spent a couple of hours at the Marktplatz, toasting the new year with hundreds of Germans, tourists and expats of all ages, nationalities, and sizes. I have to admit, the combination of alcohol fueled strangers and fireworks together had me watching the young ones in our group quite closely due to horrors of eyes and fingers gone missing (you’ll shoot your eye out). After about a half hour and no missing digits, I forced myself to relax and just enjoy the moment. I was in Germany, facing my second divorce in the past four years, but I was OK…I was surrounded by amazingly loving and supportive people, had a job I loved to head back to, and my two amazing daughters to pick up at the airport a day after arriving home. My eight-year-old boyfriend for the night was pretty cute too (takes after Maria!)
Fast forward to a year later. I’m still in Denver. Better apartment, different job. One big time post Aussie relationship down, and I’m still standing as strong as ever. Woody Allen said “if you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.” I think I would rather laugh and make those around me laugh than do almost anything else in the world, so I’m going to keep on planning the next great thing in my life. It may just happen while I’m busy making those other plans…