Help me battle the blues on New Year's Eve
December 15, 2017 8:37 PM   Subscribe

I'll be alone in Seattle on New Year's Eve, which also happens to be my birthday. It's a tough time of year for me and I'm sad that I don't have friends around to celebrate with. I'd love some ideas of ways I could spend the day that would be fun and not depressing.

I'm already dreading this day, but rather than mope around in self-pity I'd like to think of some nice ways I could spend it. Things I like: dance, art, poetry, food. I'm not very interested in big parties, or necessarily in being out until midnight. I've been thinking about doing a spa treatment and a nice dinner, but I'm interested in hearing other ideas for fun things a late-20s woman could do solo on New Year's Eve. Could be events that are happening, activities I haven't tried, volunteer opportunities, ambitious cooking projects, or who knows what else...I'm not feeling very creative and I'd love suggestions.
posted by thrungva to Grab Bag (9 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I’m not too familiar with Seattle, but I’d go for a nice dinner and live music.
Here’s a list of NYE events from The Stranger.
P.S. Check your memail
posted by Champagne Supernova at 9:19 PM on December 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

Heh I always spend my New Year's Eve in Seattle alone. I don't see it as something over which to be depressed, but rather instead pleased that I'm not out with a bunch of screaming idiots on the year's worst amateur night—but then again in my late 20s I was tending bar, which has left me with a somewhat jaundiced view of NYE.

Usually I'll hang out reading, or watch a movie, then around 11.20 take a walk up the hill to Volunteer Park and watch the fireworks launch from the Space Needle since there's always a great view—barring that year with the crazy fog—and enough happy people to be amusing without overwhelming you with their sheer numbers. Then I head back down the hill and try to ignore the crazy noise that evening on Capitol Hill.

Point being, it's only depressing if you let yourself feel somehow obligated to go through the party/gathering motions. I prefer a quieter New Year's myself, and now refuse to feel any such obligations. New Year's to me is much like a birthday—the day previous I was 99.75% of the way to this point, what makes this one day so much more magical?

Catch a movie that day, or see if the aquarium is open and go see the otters, or catch the ferry to Bainbridge—the view back to Seattle is always so lovely on wet and gray winter days, like living inside a watercolor brought to life. Discovery Park has its own austere beauty in the wintertime, I love heading out there on a chilly bike ride, with those magnificent views across Puget Sound.

You mention cooking projects. I've been working on perfecting a ginger-apple pie—not quite there yet!—as well as experimenting with ginger snaps (As you may surmise, I've been on a ginger kick recently). Since it'll be your birthday, maybe pick an interesting baking project you've never had the chance to try, for the sheer investigational fun of it–who cares if it comes out any good, it'll be an experiment!
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 10:49 PM on December 15, 2017 [2 favorites]

Barry Manilow's got this covered...

Don't look so sad,
It's not so bad you know.
It's just another night,
That's all it is, it's not the first,

It's not the worst you know,
We've come through all the rest,
We'll get through this.
We've made mistakes,

But we've made good friends too.
Remember all the nights we spent with them?
And all our plans,
Who says they can't come true?

Tonight's another chance to start again.
BarrIt's just another New Year's Eve,
Another night like all the rest.
It's just another New Year's Eve,

Let's make it the best.
It's just another New Year's Eve,
It's just another Auld Lang Syne,
But when we're through this New Year

You'll see, will be
Just fine.
We're not alone, we've got the world you know.
And it won't let us down, just wait and see.

And we'll grow old, but think how wise we'll grow.
There's more you know, it's only New Year's Eve.
It's just another New Year's Eve,
Another night like all the rest.

It's just another New Year's Eve,
Let's make it the best.
It's just another New Year's Eve,
It's just another Auld Lang Syne,

But when we're through this New Year, you'll see, will be
Just fine.

posted by NoraCharles at 5:21 AM on December 16, 2017 [6 favorites]

I don't know Seattle but I'm sure there are things you could do to make you feel better. Do the volunteer thing: at a home for old folks? Or a hospital? There are so many people out there that would love to have your company.

If all else fails, you can come to Philadelphia and spend NYE with me. I'll be working that night (bar tending) and you could be my bar back. lol
posted by james33 at 5:37 AM on December 16, 2017

I would definitely do the spa treatment that afternoon/early evening. You won't be the only one there or feel strange or anything doing that. Then you will feel great and sort of tired so you can go to bed early and not feel bad about that either!! We can all say 'embrace it' but late 20's are stressful in that way- you start to care way less (about that sort of thing anyway) when you get just enjoy your birthday/new years. Make a list of things you want to have happen in the upcoming year. Find something earlier in the day you love too- I would pay for expensive theater tickets or anything else you feel is too extravagant most of the time. (Or make a food project etc or go for walk, whatever you personally prefer to do).
posted by bquarters at 6:02 AM on December 16, 2017

For the upcoming year though you should find a weekly volunteer project, it's a fun way to meet people from all walks of life and makes you feel more tied to your community/city. And obviously you are providing an appreciated service, which speaks for itself!
posted by bquarters at 6:03 AM on December 16, 2017

Hello, fellow New Year's Eve birthday person! I know some of the crumminess that the NYE birthday brings.

One thing I've done a couple of years and really enjoyed was leaning into the solitude and doing a solo urban hike, exploring some of the large urban parks, while catching up on to some of the best new albums I've missed, since all the Best Of lists are out.

I also like the sound of a complex cooking project, especially one that's fussy and/or meditative - there was a recent post on the blue about a complex German cake.

But mostly I'm saying I feel you - the NYE birthday is a weird one, the same dumb joke 364 days of the year and it's hard not to be a little lonely on the 365th.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 11:05 AM on December 16, 2017

It sounds like you wish that you had some people around to celebrate with, people who weren't focused on New Years celebrations.

You could start a Meetup group for people born on December 31 and have an outing for food or art that day.
posted by yohko at 1:36 PM on December 16, 2017

If you'd like something to do New Year's Day, I extend an invitation to you and to any local Mefites to come to our Open House from noon to 6pm on the 1st. My mother and I like to start the new year surrounded by our beloved community of old friends and new. We are in Columbia City.
posted by QuakerMel at 6:28 PM on December 16, 2017

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