New Years Day: Larger lessons from a hangover

My, oh my...I spent new years day hungover, in bed, trying to survive nausea, vomiting, dehydration, headache, and most of all self-loathing.

I have not had a hangover like that for more than a year. And maybe since I haven't been drinking (especially shots or partying), I over estimated my tolerance. Maybe it was breaking the cardinal rule of not mixing different liquors and types of drinks (I should have remembered that from college!). Whatever it was, I was suffering the day after New Years Eve.

For the last 2 years, my usually New Years Day ritual began with a 2-hour yoga session followed by a community gathering (in Crown Heights) with a tarot card reader. Since moving to the East Village this year, I didn't commit to continuing this tradition. Instead this year, I was in bed, without the ability or energy to do anything productive. I wanted to set intentions for the new year, visualize 2018, and set the course for the next 365 days!

I was upset...

...upset at myself. How did I end up at this point? I was ruminating over and over how I should/could have prevented it. I didn't need that last drink or maybe it was that shot (ugh!). And I was laying on the couch, believing I could have controlled the situation, should have known better, wishing I could go back in time and remake the decision.

But that is not how life works.


I chose to see if I could shift my perspective. What could this day teach me? You see, I like to make meaning out of events or at least learn from them.

And then I realized these tough moments are what I have been working on for so long. Self-love is easy when everything is going well, but the real test is how much strength and love you have when you're being tested.

Self-loathing can be easy for me because I always feel that I could be/do/act better. I believe in constant self-improvement, at on bad days, it's at the expense of self-acceptance.

I forgave myself for the drinks and celebrated the things that went well (I had all my belongings, even the ones I thought I initially lost but merely just misplaced at home). I expressed gratitude to my boyfriend who walked with me from Chinatown to East Village in below freezing temperature because the car ride made me feel too sick, then hydrated me, and took care of me the following day. I stopped acting as if being hungover wasn't normal, gave myself grace to mess up, and remembered that today, New Years Day, though symbolic, was just another day. Tomorrow and the days after are equally as important. It is probably even more important that we live with light and intention every day of the year, not just the 'important' days.

And lucky for me, I had the day after New Years Day off. I could start again tomorrow.

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