One of my most fun and memorable New Years Days was spent at the Carlen Soulé Memorial Polar Bear Dip in Cayucos, California back in 2001.
Mind you, a Polar Bear Dip in California is not quite as polar as those in the Midwest where you have to chop ice before you plunge. But the water is still a brisk, refreshing temperature, about 54 degrees or so.
Something about running into the cold green sea on the first day of the year with a couple hundred other loonies makes it seem like a real turning point, a time for to wash that old year right out of your hair.
Today I did a slightly different version. I have a shower outside in the back yard that the landlord set up for dog washing after a prior tenant clogged the drain with massive amounts of golden retriever hair.
I was dyeing my hair outside, so I decided to take it to its logical end and rinse outside too.
I thought about putting on my swimsuit but it was still cold and clammy from yesterday's water aerobics class, so I took a nice, fully naykid shower outside.
My yard is set up so that you would have to be an acrobat or at least very, very nosy to see back there - which is good because I would not want any of my neighbors to suffer cardiac arrest on the very first day of the year.
It was a little breezy and I surprised the hell out of Goldie, but it felt like a fun way to begin a new year - doing something I had never done before. And the water was a lot warmer than the Pacific Ocean.