Today we acknowledge the passing of the old year and the beginning of the new one. It's the 46th time I've done it. When we kids were small, Mom would set the alarm clock early, to go off at about 8:00 p.m., and when it rang, we would shout Happy New Year as if it were midnight and throw confetti, which then had to be vacuumed up again. Then there were the teenage years, when New Year's Eve was spent more often than not watching TV and later lying in bed listening to firecrackers and car horns go off around my neighbourhood. Now I suppose I'm a grown-up, and get to go to parties and stay up until midnight. Though since the new puppy starts his day at 3 a.m., I'll most likely fall asleep around ten-thirty with my head in the guacamole.
I can't help but contrast this New Year's to the last one. The year 2011 was a disaster for me in every way. If it could go wrong, it did. There were times I seriously wondered if I was going to live through it. On New Year's Eve 2011, I wrote down on a sheet of paper a big long list of everything that had happened, all that had gone wrong, from big to small, leaving out nothing. Then I took the paper out in the backyard and burned it, and I stomped the ashes into the soggy ground. Throughout 2012, whenever I was tempted to bring up all those bad things and rehash them or feel sorry for myself over them, I reminded myself, "That's gone, stomped into the ground with the other ashes." And I would consciously set the burden down. I would look only forward, not back.
Now that I'm safely twelve months away from all that happened, I can peek back a little bit and marvel at what we survived and how far we've come. Things have turned completely around. We are well, we are whole, and whereas last year I feared I'd never be happy again, now I feel there is nothing at all that can stop me from being happy. I have everything I need, almost everything I want, and a terrific husband and children to share it all with. I can see absolute evidence of how we were cared for and watched over through it all, and how much healing has happened in 2012. While I know 2013 will bring its trials (I'm kicking off the new year by having surgery), I've decided to look at it all positively (surgery means four weeks in bed with a stack of library books, for example. You can't get better than that!). While 2012 was the year of recovery and being kind to myself (okay, licking my wounds), 2013 will be the year of health. Physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, spiritually, and financially, I will focus on being healthy. If something doesn't contribute toward our health in one of those areas, I will get it out of our lives. It's time. I might even limit dessert to once a week. (So now you know I'm serious!)
Whatever your focus and goals are for 2013, I wish you peace, happiness, and contentment.