New Year’s Eve is a weird time to stop and think about our lives.
For one thing, it’s too noisy to think very hard. Fireworks, drunk friends, crowds, parties. Being surrounded by noise and movement is not conducive to quiet reflection. And then there’s the drinking, and the fact that we stay up into the early hours. How can we get things straight in our minds when we’re feeling tipsy and it’s three hours past our bedtimes?
New Year’s Eve doesn’t even really exist; on some calendars, it’s another date entirely. The Chinese New Year occurs at the turn of that country’s traditional lunisolar calendar (next year it’s the 16th of February). The Persian calendar – considered the most accurate because it’s based on astronomical observation rather than time measurement – starts at the Spring Equinox, which is March 30th in 2018.
New Year’s Eve is just an arbitrary construct, a marker placed and celebrated because it makes our lives easier to manage. Despite knowing this, I also know that the New Year will pass in a similar fashion to those past. I’ll be at home watching the clock. I might be alone, or I might be with friends. Either way, I’ll find myself standing on my balcony at midnight on the first of January. I’ll be looking out over the city. I’ll pour myself a glass of Chandon. Then, as the fireworks and the cheering start, my thoughts will inevitably turn to the last twelve months.
It’s useful to break life into increments. Similarly to the way we go to bed each night and wake up each day with a sense of a new beginning, it’s helpful to divide our lives into longer units of time in order to make sense of them. For example, in sex work I often find particular milestones that help me appreciate how long I have known my regular clients. I celebrate one of my client’s birthdays each year and it’s a lot of fun trying to come up with a new adventure for each. With another favourite guy, Christmas is special because that’s when he makes his yearly trip to Melbourne and we are able to spend time together.
A great philosopher once said: “You live all the moments in your life three times … once when you anticipate them, once when you have the experience, and again a third time when you fully come to appreciate your memories.” Okay, so it wasn’t a great philosopher. I made that up. But doesn’t it sound right? When you see the clock tick over to 12:00am on the 31st of December, which memories will you be re-living?
This year has been significant for me, both personally and professionally. It has been characterised by the word ‘enthusiasm.’ I have spent the year reconnecting with old clients and lovers as I picked up the reins again, following a couple of years concentrating on other ventures. I the joy of starting again where I left off has been immense. I love my work and my life: meeting new people, visiting new places. I’ve walked along the beach during a lightning storm in Noosa. I’ve tried new vintages – 16-year-old Chivas Regal comes to mind. I’ve experimented with new playmates (if Carla and Charlie are reading this, thanks for so many fun sexy times this year!)
I love finding people who share my enthusiasm for the good things in life, knowing that good times will pass and all we will have left are good memories. And I can’t wait to see what the New Year has to offer.