They say nothing changes New Year’s Day, or, that’s what Bono would have us believe.
And he’s right (sort of). My general habit is to write a New Years post full of bullshit. It’s not intentional (the bullshit part), I mean, I believe it at the time. I think amazing things are possible and probable in the new year, and then I’m crushed when the year becomes as tangled and exhausting a knot as the previous 12 months, and despite my optimism, blind determination, and ridiculous schedule, I’m never any closer to getting my shit in order on the last day of the year than I am on the first.
This time of year I set lofty goals for myself – like picking the clothes up off the closet floor, sleeping more, and showering at least every other day. Maybe I’m aiming too high.
On this, the last day of the year, I feel tired more than anything else. I’m not depressed, not cynical (no wait, I am cynical- absolutely I am). But I am proud of many things I’ve achieved this year. Or some things. Actually, one thing.
When I was 8, my best friend at the time lived one street away and owned a small but extremely terrifying poodle. Every day I would go to her house determined to pet it, make nice, and every day it would chase me and bite me in the ass. That’s how I think of New Years.
I am finished with making nice. And rice. I always f-up rice too; I just won’t make it anymore. Anyway, I know after all our disappointments, time will not turn around and spontaneously love me. The slate doesn’t wipe clean at midnight, the bite marks don’t vanish, and while I don’t hate the new year, I am wary as hell. Wary, I say, as I tongue my temporary crown- the one the dentist put on because my molar snapped in half. It had dissolved inside. My tooth dissolved, like a friggin’ meth addict’s (not my dentist’s choice of words).
Today I’m packing my parachute- updating my resume. I’m where I want to be, and feel like I’m working harder, smarter, than I ever have, but it simply may not be enough. So we’ll see. Head is out of the clouds this January. It’s wearing a big helmet, ready for hail.
But this doesn’t mean I won’t be celebrating. I have bubbly, and sparkly hats, and two very excited 3 year old girls. We’re making fairy cakes and bead necklaces and sticker charts with glitter. We’re watching a kid movie, and staying up as late as we want. In the morning I’ll watch my girls feed each other oatmeal and it will make me deliriously happy.
And I don’t want to imply that I don’t have goals for the new year, or that I’ve given up on getting my shit together; I do, and I haven’t. I want to go Thoreau (and rogue) in 2012. I’ve always been into selectively using Thoreau’s advice; traveling, moving to new crazy places, doing ill advised things and telling people to leave me alone because I’m sucking the marrow out of life when they question my judgement. I’ve been all about the marrow sucking, but I’ve never attempted the “simplify, simplify” thing- in fact, I’ve gone to great lengths to do the opposite. I’ve toted useless junk of many kinds all around the globe, and it’s time to clean house.
My goal for the new year is to give away something every day- to find homes for the things I do not need. I thought of selling those things, since I don’t really have any money, but selling takes time away from my children, something altogether more precious, and possibly prevents items from going to the people who need them most. And anyway, they will be doing me the favor- simplifying my life, teaching me to be a more generous, grateful person- and that is payment enough.
So I am more cautious this year, but not without hope, or a plan.
And you never know, maybe I’ll take my novel down from the shelf one of these days…