And ye, who have met with Adversity’s blast,
And been bow’d to the earth by its fury;
To whom the Twelve Months, that have recently pass’d
Were as harsh as a prejudiced jury –
Still, fill to the Future! and join in our chime,
The regrets of remembrance to cozen,
And having obtained a New Trial of Time,
Shout in hopes of a kindlier dozen.
Although an arbitrary demarcation of something quantum physics says doesn’t exist, there’s no denying the impact of the turn of the year on the fragile psyche of frail humans … okay, on the fragile psyche of this frail human — new years freak me out!
New Year’s eve is like every other night; there is no pause in the march of the universe, no breathless moment of silence among created things that the passage of another twelve months may be noted; and yet no man has quite the same thoughts this evening that come with the coming of darkness on other nights. ~Hamilton Wright Mabie
There’s something more than unnerving in the idea that one year has just gone by in an eye-blink, that a whole bunch of stuff happened in those twelve months, much of which deserves rumination, and this morning I teeter on the cliff edge of yet another that will pass as fast and present as much … or more … I’ll have incorporated into my history this time next year.
I have great hopes for 2011, even some plans, and this morning a determination to make this one great year. Of course, those are precisely the thoughts I had on New Year’s Day 2010.
For the third year running, life is in tumult with so much out of my control that simply hanging on is about the best I can manage. Sure, I’ll plod along day-by-day doing the things that need doing, avoiding pitfalls I can see or sense and spend no little energy visualizing the desired path, but after the last couple of years know only too well that at any moment I could hear that brief scream that signals incoming.
I’d like to think I’ve learned enough to trust only the trustworthy, love only those who deserve my love, chose only the best options available … as Tennyson said:
Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.
Amen, Alfred. And I’ll be greeting true with open arms if I recognize the fucking thing.
If all goes well, 2011 should be a year of change … big, positive change seeing me having wrestled back some control, moved house, simplified things considerably and set up comfortable circumstances for me and the kids that will provide enough security to allow stepping back from the dance on the rim of the precipice and a chance to gather strength rather than squander it in anxiety and the depleting efforts of fighting for every fucking step.
Of course, the reality is that we only have so many of these new beginnings, and there’s always the chance the last one was the last one. That would be quite disappointing. I very much hope there’s time to reap rewards for hard work, that my last love was not my LAST love, that seeds sown come to fruition. Conversely, however, another year like the last few … well … I’m not so hot on that.
Today, there’s no way to know if it’s “a kindlier dozen” ahead, more of the same or something even more diabolical. Experience tells me thoughts of “it can’t get any worse” are utter nonsense and there is no guaranteed swing of the pendulum shifting from crap to contentment, but there is hope.
For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
So, the old year is over, the new has begun … it will bring what it brings and be dealt with as it unfolds. I will do what I always do — plod and write — and January will turn to February and Cj will be six in April and Sam will be nine in November and another year will be added to the outbox. I will seek out joy, love my kids, treasure my friends, embrace adventures and hope and hope and hope.
We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day. ~Edith Lovejoy Pierce
My sincere wish to all that 2011 fills your book with joy, love, kindness and peace …