Naughty Kitty Pants Vs. Cheetah Pants: What My Pajamas Can Teach Us About New Beginnings

I've had a pair of pajama pants for several years that I love. There are cats on them (of course) and the cats are doing different things, like looking smug and evil, or sitting in a bowl, etc. My old roommate Amy and I used to call them my Naughty Kitty Pants because the cats look ...well, naughty. (Not in a sexy way, stop it. I mean evil. Like cats are.)

For whatever reason, I loved the Naughty Kitty Pants. They made me smile when I wore them because it always reminded me of those years living with Amy and all the ridiculous inside jokes we had. (She is the one I spoke to about boys in code and is also friends with the Other Goldfish Poodle.)

Anyway, I'd say the Naughty Kitty Pants were my favorite things to wear to bed. They weren't just cute and made me laugh, but they were also long enough for my ape-like limbs.

(That is hard to find at my height. At one point I just started wearing men's pajama bottoms because I could never find cute girlie ones that didn't make me look like Urkel each night:

Then one day, I found a new pair of pajamas. Pink cheetah print.

I have no problem with animal prints. So these pants fit right into my life.

As time went on, I realized I wasn't wearing Naughty Kitty Pants very much anymore. I'd always reach for Cheetah Pants instead. I apparently preferred them now. They had new qualities. They didn't make me smile with memories, but they fit better and they were really soft. And I felt like that was a metaphor for life in some way (some people wax philosophical at sunsets -I apparently do that when changing into jammies. Stop judging me.): it's so easy to get comfortable and think you don't ever want something to change. But there may be aspects you like even better in some new thing. No, it won't be the same, but the new thing may make you even happier.

Last week, I celebrated New Year's Eve (this is related, stay with me). Now, I'm the type of girl that enjoys immersing herself in quintessential scenes. If I'm in Japan, I want to be in a kimono eating sushi. If I'm at a country music concert, I want to be wearing cowboy boots, sitting on the tailgate of a lift-kitted truck, talking to people with southern accents. And on New Years, I usually want to be at a giant party at some swanky venue, wearing sparkly formal wear, blowing noisemakers and having streamers fall on my head after a dramatic countdown.

Last week was pretty much the opposite of that.

I started the evening by rushing around because I was late (that part's normal). But because I was rushing, I ran out of the house and was well on my way to a party before realizing  -- I forgot to wear deoderant. (I actually have a habit of doing that only on days when it's especially horrific to do so, like when I'm meeting former U.S. Presidents.)

First un-New Years thing: My appearance/hygiene is not completely pulled together.

I also had testing to do for the Navy in two days and was trying desperately to make sure I was within my weight limit, so I wasn't really eating or drinking anything except the Ginger Ale I allowed myself to toast with. Un-New Years thing #2 - can't enjoy the fattening spread laid out by my party hosts.

The party was at the house of someone I don't know and there was no dress code so guests were wearing everything from jeans to cocktail attire. Un-New Years #3 and #4 - no swanky commercial venue and not everyone is in formal wear.

There were no streamers, hats, or noise makers - #5

We didn't even have the television on to watch the New Year's Eve celebration or see the ball drop-#6. In fact - no one even realized when it turned midnight. (#7). At some point, my friend looked at his phone and realized we were already in 2014. So the group I was standing with let out a collective "Happy New Year!" sans countdown, and everyone in the party joined in immediately without even checking to see that we were right. (we did try, about 20 min later, to do an actual countdown just to see if we could get everyone to blindly join in again. We couldn't. Which means we started 2014 pretty much like how our years of friendship have always been -- with us doing weird things that make us laugh while everyone else in the world looks at us like we're crazy.)

I didn't kiss anyone at midnight... didn't hear Auld Lang Syne...didn't really dance much (given the whole no-deodorant thing and all) - in other words: it was not my typical New Years.

But -it was one of the best New Year's Eves I can remember. I was relaxed, I was surrounded by people who know me well, and I was simply happy. I would've thought I needed a set list of things for a "perfect" New Years, but doing something different was surprisingly even better.

And that happens a lot, doesn't it? Like in relationships- romantic or friendship. You have people who you love for certain reasons and worry you'll never love other people as much unless they have those same characteristics. But then you meet new people and realize you are just as happy if not more with them, for completely different reasons you hadn't considered before.

2013 was absolutely incredible for me. But if there's one thing my pajamas have taught me, it's to not settle in and stagnate just because something made you happy. We could easily say there's nothing we need to go after in 2014 if we got things we wanted the year before. We could hide in the safety net of so many Kitty Pants of yesteryear - but I bet there are some Cheetah Pants in 2014 waiting. It won't be the same awesomeness as things before, but it might be even better.

Happy New Year, Internet. Go out and find some Cheetah Pants.