I have been a bit stressed about upcoming New Year’s Eve. I have never been a big fan of this celebration. I used to feel forced to have fun like you are supposed to party.
First time I started seeing this night differently was few years ago when I stayed with my friend Daria in Warsaw. We celebrated with friends and also strangers in streets and we also stayed out in cold for quite long talking about past and new year.
Since then I had few quite nice New Year’s Eves. Till last year. I won´t go in details, but my beginning of 2019 wasn´t as I wanted it to be. My beginning of 2019 was effected by someone else.
We say in Czech language “as the New Year the whole year will be”. So that means, you should have a good New Year (1st day of the year) so you have good the rest of it.
As I really wanted to start this year a nice way, I decided to be alone and do something only with Ignác. I wanted to go for trip to mountains.
Also this was the first time when I had a dog and I heard from everyone how stressful the fireworks might be for him. I had no previous experience, so the plan was to hide home, survive the night and enjoy the next day.
31 December I woke up with a weird feeling. I had quite bad mood. No particular reason, I just woke up like that. All I could think about was last year NYE and all difficult times that happened to me during the year. I started having thoughts like: “I didn´t want some people to stay alone for Christmas, so I invited them for dinner and now everyone is going to party, no one cares, I am going to begin the year alone, etc.” Uff, not what I expected. Quite depressing right?
I went to work, stayed in the office for few hours and then came back in the afternoon. Still with that heavy stone on my chest. I really didn´t want to feel this way, so I thought I would spend evening by writing a diary and letting it all go on the paper if it doesn´t go away itself.
But before that I went for a long walk with Ignác.
Walk is one of the best therapies for me. So we went to one park, from which we went to another. We walked around, passed the Prague view points where I used to go previous years to watch fireworks at midnight. This time we went early enough before the crowd of people get there.
On the way home we passed a church near my house. There is a big Christmas tree and little Christmas market. Actually only one guy selling hot wine and some treats. I suddenly felt like in some movie. I bought one cup of hot wine, stood there in front of the church watching a Christmas tree, being with Ignác and suddenly all bad was gone and good was back.
When this my little animal sat next to me, looked up with his loving eyes, I couldn´t feel more thankful. I can never feel alone with him. We might often feel upset about a human who doesn´t want to spend time with us, but maybe there can also be someone upset that we don´t want to spend time with them? It´s a circle. And even though Ignác is a dog, he reminds me every day how happy he is for my company and I must tell you he saved my ass last year. There was so many moments when I felt alone and I couldn´t be happier for him licking my face to make me feel better.
By that time I was absolutely offline.
By last year experience I realized how easy it is for me to get effected by someone else and I didn´t want that. I wanted to focus on doing my own stuff that night and I wanted to avoid scrolling IG or FB and watching stories of other people partying while I am home alone.
Coming home I felt really good. I decided to make me and Ignác nice evening. I made a nice dinner for me (Ignác has nice dinner every day), opened one of the Spanish wines I kept saving and started watching a travel documentary. No pressure to summarize anything or go deep in my thoughts. Movie finished before 10 pm and we went to sleep.
As everyone warned me about dogs being scared of fireworks I decided to sleep with Ignác in the kitchen on the sofa. Kind of a treat for both us. We were having holidays. That´s the only time he sleeps in the bed with me. There was already noise outside, so I played some relaxing dog music and we both fell asleep and then we both woke up at midnight.
Ignác was just looking around what is happening but didn´t look too scared. I played the music louder, kept cuddling him and he just seemed fine, so we fell asleep soon again.
Hearing alarm on holiday morning was a bit painful. But I knew this is something I really want to do. I knew that if I stay in Prague, being home will just make me feel depressed again. I felt that I need to do something special on the first day of the year.
I made a research in which part of mountains could be the snow and where I can do a hike with dog and decided to go. Place we went to was quite far. Two hours drive, but half of the time slow way through villages leading deeper in mountains. But there was one problem. We were on the way one and half hour and there was no sign of snow.
I was getting bit unsure if this was a good idea. There were hiking places much closer to Prague if I wasn´t looking for snow.
I swear we had barely 15 min left till our destination and we literally entered a fairy tale. Suddenly out of nowhere there was a forest full of snow in front of us! We kept driving up hill (car was kind of sliding up hill, I was hoping to survive) and there was more and more snow around us!
Yes! It was worth it!
That day was really sunny, clear blue sky and mountains covered with snow around. It couldn´t be more perfect day!
There was only one small surprise I didn´t count with. Place I wanted to park my car at was paid and I had zero money with me. No cash, only card. Luckily good people exist and they just let me stay there without paying, so fun could begin!
Once I let Ignác out of the car I couldn´t stop laughing! I don´t know if he has ever seen the snow before, but what he did was hilarious! Road was quite frozen, so it was slippery and he just kept sliding around, dipping his head inside the snow, licking the ground, eating snow…
Seeing this was the best reward for waking up in the morning and driving there.
Beginning of the hike was little busy as there was many countryside skiers. Although soon we turned on another path, which was just made by few people walking in the snow before us. If I don´t count the begging of the hike close to the parking, once we went our own way, we met only three people during the whole day! It was just me, Ignác and silence of the mountains. I couldn´t have planned the better trip. So much snow and those views.
It exceeded my expectations.
We even found a great spot to have Czech traditional New Year´s lunch, which I carried with me!
I enjoyed this offline day so much that I want to make it my tradition. I try to do this from time to time, but it´s not easy with my job and sometimes just because I am used to my phone so much. But I know it´s not healthy and I am trying to work on it.
This time I had really big motivation and it was that I didn´t want to let anyone ruin my New Year. And really it´s so easy because of our smart phones. You can get a call, message, read someone´s post or watch a story which will disturb you for some reason. It can be something small which will just make you think about it or something disturbing in negative way.
Thanks to this realization I managed to stay away my phone for so long because I didn´t want to let anyone to get in my mind that day.
The reason why I wrote this is to show you, so that you can be alone sometimes, sometimes by choice, sometimes maybe not. But it´s important to remember, that it´s always in your hands to do things the way you like.