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Column: In bed by 10 on New Year's Eve

I’m sure many people festively celebrated the New Year when the clock struck midnight, officially making it 2023.

I was not one of them. In fact, I was in bed at about 10 p.m.

I wasn’t a huge fan of 2022, so I did not want to celebrate anything about it, even the end.

I was pleasantly surprised not to be shaken out of bed by several hours of fireworks, it was much quieter than I was used to, and I was not complaining.

I had been invited by friends to ring in the new year with them in Helena, but I wasn’t up to traveling. Although it was only an hour, I did not want to deal with the drive home. We met the same friends on December 23, and the ride home was atrocious. It was well below zero, and the roads were not cooperating. Although the weather was better, we didn’t want to share the streets with some who might not follow the law after a crazy night.

When I woke up completely refreshed on New Year’s Day and enjoyed a cup of coffee I probably didn’t need after 10 hours of sleep, I looked back on the last time I actually made it to midnight on New Year’s Eve. It had been a lot longer than I had imagined.

The last time I had done a countdown to the New Year was at a hotel in Laramie, Wyoming, following a basketball game.

It was a wonderful evening, but the three-hour ride home was atrocious after staying up way past my bedtime.

We attempted to stay up the following year but did not even make it to 10 p.m. It turns out we ate way too much food and were probably ready for bed by 7 p.m. The kids were all out of town, making things much more manageable.

Their absence and not being asked to stay up or light fireworks made going to bed simple.

In my younger years, I cannot remember missing staying up; it was one of the few days of the year I could actually stay up that late. I used to go to New Year’s parties, and it was always fun with unique energy in the air.

I carried the tradition into my 30s, but once 2015 rolled around, I was completely fine with crashing out early.

As calm as our New Year’s Eve has become, there are nights entirely out of the blue that we stay up way too late, which probably makes up for being so lame on the last holiday of the year.

On the same evening we returned from Helena, we ended up staying up until 3 a.m. This put a bit of a damper on Christmas Eve festivities as we both were zombies till another bedtime of about 9 p.m.

As tired as I was the next day, I enjoyed the spontaneity of staying up late. It had been the latest we had stayed up since the evening the Three Forks basketball team won a state title. That was quite the evening, and it took me probably a week before I was well rested.

Looking towards the rest of 2023, I’m sure there will be two or three nights that, out of the blue, we stay up too late.

This might be the year we decide we will have a get together and try to stay up until midnight. I think our guests might be a bit confused when they are having an amazing time and we are yawing by the time it is 7 p.m.