Marking the New Year

We don’t have any specific New Year’s celebratory traditions. Perhaps we will some day but lately I have been sound asleep at the moment of the yearly baton pass, and for that I’m grateful.  Still, I try to use this sacred passage as a time to pause and remember the year that was.  I’ve always appreciated the way that looking back on an entire year illustrates just how much life 365 days can encompass, how much we actually do accomplish (or fail to accomplish) even though the day to day so often feels like more of the same.

This New Year’s G (my partner, Big G) remarked that not much happened in 2014.  I strongly disagree.  2014 was the year that both of our boys started school. g (little g) started kindergarten and cast us into the forgotten world of institutionalized learning.  Mr D (our 2.5 year old) began preschool and I think it’s safe to say that surviving this double transition was my greatest accomplishment of the year.  Despite my fears, g braved kindergarten with a grace that I didn’t know he possessed and Mr D experienced preschool drop offs with a level of anguish that I never could have predicted.  In the end, we all survived and I came to appreciate a little more how strongly we are propelled along by the motive force of our lives, how no level of fear can fully stop us from the work of the living: growth.

2014, I tried to remind G, was also the year that we took our first vacation as a family for no other purpose beyond leisure, a sweet beach-filled trip to Mexico during which our children went from being siblings to being friends.  G shrugged this milestone off the way that only someone who never for a second doubted an outcome can but I celebrate it every single day.  It is not just that they now have built-in playmates to occupy their time, though this is significant.  It’s my realization that this is what I would have hoped for had I even dared to allow myself to want another child.  And now I see those hopes in the flesh, having practically fallen into my lap.  Thank you 2014.

I also like to take time every New Year to think through my hopes for the year that will be.  Some years I have made actual resolutions and some years I simply take the time to voice what is really important to me in that moment.  This year, oddly, it didn’t come.  It doesn’t make much sense. I have habits to eliminate and new ones that desperately need to be established. I have a house to de-clutter and a financial situation that needs tending.  Somewhere at the bottom of a waste basket are the remnants of my former career, caked in dried peanut butter and play dough. Yet, the urgency just wasn’t there.  I couldn’t find that level of longing of past years. There was no this is the year…… It occurred to me that, despite all the things I want to do, the lists to make and hopes to hope, I have what I need.  It may just be that right now I’m happy.

Thanks again 2014.