Nearly five days deep into 2016, I bet you thought you weren’t going to find out what sandra thinks about the New Year. And you were almost right. I wasn’t going to do it. No New Year post.
I have caved.
I’ve read many blog posts over the last few days extolling the feelings of renewal and fresh starts that the New Year brings. I’ve encountered the words ‘hope’ and ‘goals’ and ‘reflection’ and [ugh… shoot me…] ‘resolutions’ more often in the last five days than one can sustain without risk of vomiting. I’ve seen lists of things people accomplished or experienced in the last year and lists of what they hope to accomplish in the new one.
This post isn’t going to be quite like those.
A few days ago we slipped from 2015 to 2016. I barely remembered it was going to happen. And I barely noticed when it did.
John had been in his studio in the basement messing around with his guitar while waiting for the familiar ding of the clothes dryer. When it sounded, he rested the guitar aside, pulled out the laundry, grabbed the basket of clothes, and marched upstairs. He found me on our beloved red sofa, laptop on my lap, eyes jumping from television to laptop at irregular intervals.
I was online, typing madly, hoping to finish this post before midnight [for no special reason… an arbitrary deadline I imposed upon myself – why do I do that?]. But David Tennant sucked me in. [Sounds dirty but it’s not. Unfortunately.] The Doctor Who marathon stole away any inkling I may have had to track the minutes approaching midnight. Thank you BBC America. Love you!
During one of the commercial breaks, I left John on the sofa to check on the kids. Sound asleep. Warm and cozy. I poured myself a glass of water and noticed the clock.
‘Hey, honey,’ I said to John as I returned to him and The Doctor. ‘It’s 12:02.’
A hug and a kiss and back to the Tardis. [Hmm, that rhymes. Consider this my tiny Doctor Who poem.]
And so it was 2016. Woo. Hoo.
Nothing changed. Nothing internal or external. No sense of rebirth… no sudden influx of hope for the future. No miraculous solutions or resolutions to anything. It was Thursday becoming Friday. Just like every other week.
I am a [mostly] rational adult. I knew a waterfall of hope and inspiration and motivation and answers was not going to magically rain down on me. But something did rain down on me. A flood of mistakes. A deluge of bad luck and unfortunate circumstances. Every major crisis currently playing out in my life splashed me in the face. A new year changes nothing.
It’s all on me, I know. Though I try and then try harder, I struggle to be positive [I know, stunning development]. Maybe, despite my seemingly cursed existence, 2016 will be the year of me. Maybe everything will turn around. Isn’t that what I’m supposed to think?
The fucked up thing is… every single damn year, I do start out thinking that! I’m going to kick last year in the ass and move on to a better year. I actually have these thoughts! I am totally, uncharacteristically optimistic! For about 5 minutes.
Really, this year has to be better than the last. But, of course, the truth is… no it doesn’t.
And… my brief connection to hope and optimism is severed. It all turns to shit so fast I miss the transition by blinking. But – I’m supposed to reflect and hope and plan and aspire! Instead, my brain conjures up every past failure, every past disappointment, every past crisis and tragedy, every enormous stroke of bad luck. It reminds me so vividly that I can only fear what fresh hell the New Year will hurl at me this time. I’d better duck.
Before I jinx this New Year, I shall try to think about some goodness from last year. It can’t be all bad. [Wow, look at me being all positive-ish!]
My husband got a [small] raise at work.
My son earned a finalist spot in the whole-school spelling bee. Smarty pants.
My daughter gives me ‘best mom ever’ notes for no reason on random days. Adorable.
My father-in-law generously helped us afford the new roof our house desperately needed.
My mom is finally beginning to understand me better than she has in a very long time.
My hair looks beautiful.
My husband surprised me with a new printer when mine started to fail. [He even did enough research to save $30!]
I started this blog… and I met amazing people because of it. I hope you are all still reading and will continue to visit. It means more to me than I know how to express.
I discovered that I can write poetry. I mean, decent poetry.
I have gotten some wonderful, helpful, lovely feedback on my writing and my psychoses. [Because of all of you amazing people. Thank you, my dears.]
I made some wonderful, understanding, supportive friends through this site. [Thanks for putting up with me turtle!]
My old jeans fit.
Hmm… Look at that! I thought of twelve good things. I didn’t think I’d remember that many. Maybe things are finally looking up. Working on this positivity shit just might help me.
And hey, that new weekly feature is coming soon – the positive thinking one – the one I keep putting off. What is wrong with me that I put off the positive things and obsess over the negative ones? [Kind of a rhetorical question… pretty sure there’s no answer to that.]
I still won’t say “Happy New Year,” though, because I still don’t like the pressure for which it stands. Instead, I’ll just say…