No NYE kiss? No problem.

I used to dread New Year’s Eve for one four-letter word: kiss. If I was heading into the turn of the year without someone to share that iconic lip-touching moment, it could reduce me to tear-filled misery. The holiday could make me feel alone and sad and hopeless and pathetic.

This year, I shall share no New Year’s Eve Kiss, and I’m OK with that. I’m not looking for one. It could be nice to have someone to kiss at any random moment throughout the year, but I’m not going to give up the fun of this holiday or any other because I don’t have that. I have learned that my relationship status is a characteristic of my life, like the length of my hair or where I work or what vehicle I drive. Less so because I can influence each of those things. No one has complete control over whether they share romance with another person.

I know wonderful people who will not share a kiss with someone special on New Year’s Eve. Enjoyable, attractive, dear, worthy people who should not be characterized by whether they are in a relationship at the ticking of one year to the next. Fantastic individuals who are not a good match for me as a mate, and I am not a good match for them, though we are good matches as friends. I also know that people out there will press their lips to those of a person they sometimes loathe or wish they could work up the courage to leave. What looks like a romantic kiss can be a lie.

I have, overall, a pretty happy life. That’s not an accident. I’ve been working to make it the best it can be, affecting what I can affect. Like everyone, I have aspects I still hope to improve. I will always have aspects of my life to work on. That’s the work of living. I wish I could go back and tell my younger self that defining the quality of my life by one symbolic act is to discount the true stuff of happiness. But I probably would have been too caught up in the lies I was buying to really understand.

Will I have a New Year’s Eve kiss next year? I have no idea, and that’s not a problem. If I stay true to my own self, continue to work on living a quality life, I feel pretty confident I’m going to have a happy new year. I hope you do, too, whatever the status of your lips.

-Patricia

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