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.

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3 thoughts on “Marking the New Year

  1. You are writing again! I’m sorry I missed your previous posts, for some reason you weren’t in my reader–maybe the transition after google reader shut down? Well, no matter the reason I have rectified the situation and am here now.

    Those sound like some pretty big things that happened in 2014. Next year we will have the same big transitions–my daughter to Kindergarten and my son to preschool. I am dreading it, and am very concerned that the mornings will be too much for my husband. I’m trying to decide if I should work part time again, and stay home later in the mornings so I can help (which I would only do to help my husband, not to be with my kids, because the mornings is not a great time to savor QT with one’s kids) or if I should let him manage the growing pains and figure it out. I really don’t know what to do.

    I can’t imagine we’ll ever have the money to spend on a vacation for just the four of us but maybe some day. And even more I look forward to the prospect of my children becoming friends. That would be very wonderful indeed.

    1. I only just started. It is really nice to be back.

      My advice on the double transition is to take it seriously. It is an emotional time for everyone and it doesn’t help to underestimate it. If you can help out in the mornings, even for just the first few months, I think it would be helpful for all of you.

      I look forward to the day when your kids find friendship. I have faith that it will happen but T is just too young still.

  2. Ah, I love the idea of you having a new year before you with no urgent “this is the year that”… Maybe it’s the year that you get to be happy, or get to rest a bit at least. Sustained happiness is a bit hard to achieve.

    That bit about no level of fear can stop us really got me. Sometimes I marvel at how much I’ve changed… I guess some of it is inevitable (live more = become different) and some of it is incredibly hard won… I’m proud of the times I pushed back against the fear.

    I THINK my children may have crossed over into playmates, which is not yet friends, but is a nice step. They still veer sickeningly back and forth between playing together and being hysterical at each other, but as hard as it is to tolerate, it’s presumably normal. I am so delighted yours have become friends–the vacation sounds utterly idyllic.

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