I'm not usually an embracer of New Year. Don't get me wrong, I don't hide away with a multipack of cheese n onion, but I've never got excited about it.
I've certainly had some fun times. The year of the garlic with K and Sister was good, but by god Blackpool is cold at New Year! There were a few good Blackpool New Years, although the one I was told I looked like Monica Lewinsky could have been better - a thought that C no doubt echoes seeing she was told she looked like Cilla Black! I'm sure she was the only red head that sprang to mind. And the millennium was good. Despite my disaster haircut, the one that someone said made me look like Viv Windsor from Emmerdale, the photos of C dancing on the bar are some of my favourites!
And of course there were some rubbish nights, where the over inflated promise of New Year deflated like an old party balloon. But I always gave it a go, some years picking up some good memories, some years picking up sore feet and an empty purse. All part of life's rich tapestry.
One of my favourite single gal New Year activities was when me and L would go off for some bracing Albert Dock air, armed with empty note books and while away the first part of New Year's Day drinking lattes and juice and setting some goals for the next 12 months. I can't remember if we ever achieved them, but the act of committing them to paper was motivating.
I think that being in education, I think of September as the start of a new year, and as good a time as any for making plans. I know I'm in the minority, but I struggle to get the whole 'new' thing just because the calendar has run out of pages. Maybe if New Year was always on a Sunday, I'd be more comfortable with a Monday fresh start!
But I understand that it's a good time to take stock, review, recognise where change would be good. It's a state of mind. And there is something symbolic about seeing the final day of a year that hasn't been the kindest.
So, having had a pretty rough year and a half including a miscarriage, forced change of job and job loss, I'm going to wave a firm goodbye to 2013 and welcome in 2014. My blessings are well and truly counted; a wonderful family, good friends, our health (with the exception of my ever crunching knees) and a warm home. It would be greedy to ask for more. But there is the opportunity to make a request, I'd like to be writing this time next year saying 'I'll miss you 2014, you were fab!'.
Happy New Year, friends. May it be what you want it to be.