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Saturday, December 31, 2011

We live in turbulent times, but when have we not? I was a child in the Fifties, but I consider myself a child of the Sixties. Turbulence is the baseline norm for me. The world has gone mad. The country is certifiable. Some of the people in my life are barely holding things together. But, as always, I start the new year with hope. Because really, what other option is there? Ya gotta have hope.

Of course, I started 2011 with miles and miles of hope. January brought us Alexander, the brightest hope imaginable. Aiden and Kylie are the beacons of the family, lighting our way toward a hopeful future. They are way smarter than I ever was, and thankfully they don't know it yet. Lots to learn, but a deep well of compassion and curiosity that will serve them beautifully. And the rest of the family is coping with the turbulence, more or less.

As for me, I'm grateful to be ending the year in one piece — or at least as many pieces as I started with. I'm like an old jigsaw puzzle. A few of my pieces might have got lost along the way, but if you use your imagination you can still make out the big picture. There comes a time in life when "I'm still here" is a victory chant. Every turbulent year I survive gives me the chance to hope for better things ahead.

So now it's on to 2012, and trying to make it the best year we can. I plan to put more effort into doing things right the first time. I plan to stay more connected, and I have an actual plan to put that virtual plan into effect. I also plan to spend more time doing the things I enjoy most, no matter what anyone else thinks. I'll read all the young adult fiction and watch all the sappy, sentimental movies I please, thank you very much. I might even dance around the living room to "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go."

As always, I'm making no specific resolutions, because I don't want to be limited to one day a year of making promises to myself. I start every day of the year thinking I can do better. Sometimes I even succeed. I have my moments, you know. Just today, coming back from the post office, instead of using my special driving language and calling other drivers bad, bad names, I simply chuckled to myself and told them, "You confuse me." That's an improvement, I think.

New Year's Eve and New Year's Day and the January 2 holiday, whatever it's called (Recuperation Day? Bloody Mary Monday?) are not days I choose to be out amongst the partiers. There are just too many people out there who don't know how to drink and drive well enough to pull it off without smashing into each other, and I don't care to be in the middle of that. My nine-year-old Saturn passed 40,000 miles this week. Does that sound like someone who's likely to be driving around on New Year's Eve? Do the math.

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