Tomorrow is New Year's Eve, one of my very least favorite holidays. Yeah, it's cool to get New Year's Day off, but I don't get paid for it, and won't have tales of epic debauchery to make up for less money on the next paycheck. I have become increasingly disillusioned with New Year's, it is another opportunity to feel like there is something, or someone, lacking in my life. The big hoo-haw over getting kissed at the stroke of midnight hasn't been in the cards for me in a very long time. Last New Year's at least I was at a party, and had a date, but I felt out of place, alone in a crowded room, and I don't remember there being any epic midnight kiss. This year's plans have gone askew, granted it is now apparent that they were only plans in my imagination, a fantasy to be played out in short skirt and tall boots, but it seems the scheme was one sided. Oh sure, I have been invited to several parties, and have played out scenarios in my head, all of them with me totally rockin' the short skirt and boots, but all end with me standing alone at the stroke of midnight, feeling out of place, alone in a crowd. So, in typical introvert fashion, I have made my Out-With-The-Old-And-In-With-The-New Plan. I am off work early tomorrow so the first stop is the dump. Intriguing, yes? I have my truck loaded with detritus and clutter, garbage and chaos, all to be left at the county dump, and the Goodwill donation site. Nothing like clearing the unwanted from hearth and home to make way for New Beginnings. Then I am hitting the pool. I am going to swim until I ache. I will have three solid hours at the pool, and plan on swimming three miles. That will be my longest swim to date, and according to those who know these kinds of things, the energy output equivalent of running a half-marathon. I think that is a great way to end 2013. Then I will come home to the one who loves me with every fiber of his mighty heart, Hugo, my big, lunkhead mutt. He is one who will never be "done" with me, cast me aside, let me slip away, or be just "not that into it." Yes, feeling a bit lonely and bitter tonight, which has been my traditional New Year's feeling for over a decade. Tomorrow though, I will purge chaos, both material and emotional. I will swim until the ache in my muscles makes me forget the ache in my heart. I will come home to my tidy little house, and adoring dog. I will relax over good food and hot rosemary tea. And if I have the fortitude, I will do some much needed soul searching, take my heart in my hands and examine it for damage, find it strong and worthy and return it to my sleeve, where I always wear it. Out with the old, in with the New Beginnings.