a quiet bang.

I know, I know.  It's New Year's Eve.  Day before's no time to foist off a list of new resolutions. Don't worry.  I don't want to run around, adding to or editing my list.  That would be silly.  Not to mention an exercise in futility. So, what I am going to do is tuck a few away.  They are not exactly resolutions anyhow.  In fact, I really won't have to do anything. But, since it is mere hours from the first official day promises are flung about, since it is almost 2012 and we have yet to talk about resolutions, here we go. Every year I find myself mindlessly (but faithfully) making New Year's Resolutions. This is not exactly my strong suit. I've never been very good at the follow through, before. I've made them for Monday mornings, and lazy p.j. week-ends. I've slipped them in for a birthday or two. wrapped up and sugar coated them. threw them out carelessly at the dinner table to accompany a heated discussion. They are that kind of thing, everyday folly. But I guess I'm getting ahead of myself.  Back to the resolutions, or lack there of, at least based on my own resolution-less years.  I like things the way they are just fine now, but it's thoughts of brand spanking new beginnings that makes my knees weak. Getting better organized is always on the hit parade. more exercise. eating better = losing weight and being healthier. be more spiritual. do Yoga every day. listen more. talk less. laugh more. worry less. travel more. take more pictures. write more. live every day of my life. Whoot Woo! How can those things be bad?  
See, I sort of suspect dreamers have it hardest, come New Year's. Maybe not all of them, certainly. But, some ~ I'm not going to name names, me ~ burst upon the scene at the eleventh hour on December 31st  announcing "I've got my list of resolutions! I've got my list of resolutions!! Plus, Dude, I may just have invented a new holiday!  It's called ME day, and on it I can do anything I want. All day long! I can take a nap! I can have popcorn and hot chocolate for dinner. As much as I want. In my pajamas. 'Kay?  How 'bout today? This is the kind of day I called dibs on. In October! But I digress, resolutions...just to set the record straight, I adore ringing in a New Year. Don't get me wrong, I dig all that live in the now, smell the roses, be in the moment, ...and the hour and the second, and and and...  All that slap-me-silly being mindfully aware of what is going on right here and now.  It rocks.  I revel in it.  I haul it home, by the bushel and bagful. For months on end, for most of the year, I do nothing but. I love it.
But I also loathe it, just a little.  Because, it's sort of exhausting. Chores must at times be put on the back burner. You must stick to the program. Thoughts must be recorded, pronto. Those perfect Kodak moments? enjoyed to the max. and...they can be relentless.  Zippy and at their peak one minute, sad and slumped over the next.  Totally out of control, the lot of them, seemingly crossing the finish line before they're even off the blocks.  Leaves me just a little breathless.

so it is no accident that I have been putting it off. My silence on the subject is downright chivalrous, seeing as I'm already into a list as long as my arm, promises through the roof, and at least half a dozen ideas still on the back burner. Six calendars waiting to be hung, three new journals, a double batch of memory cards and a clean new insert for my  day timer, plus various and assorted project just waiting in the wings.
Yet I know, I really do, that you can't plan it all. Life is full of surprises, some wonderful, some not so much. Certain things are out of our hands no matter how many lists we make. how many prayers, hopes and wishes are uttered in the dark of night. I have a handful of dreams I hope to fulfill. I've wished on falling stars and lucky pennies, but mostly I just wait. and wonder. I always believe I've handled it just fine, after all, who wants to tempt fate? Still, my emotions have blind-sided me before. It happens. what can you do? At times I've let the nostalgia get the better of me, and sometimes the ride is a gentle one. A few nights back, I didn't have a choice. end of the year does this to me. I thought it was no big deal. I drove down memory lane. I knew it was coming and I felt myself getting a little fluttery about it. I slowed down just a little. but not enough. I pulled the memory box out of its hiding place and unfolded old letters and momentos, from long-ago. I pushed on that bruise just a little, knowing all the while it was a bad idea. that it would hurt. 
And there it was, a big lump forming in my throat. I pushed it down, only it pushed back and my eyes got that glassy I-don't-want-to-but-I'm-going-to-cry-feeling and I cried a little. I knew I would. Do I somehow not remember this about myself? Am I always  testing my heart? Putting it out there. And then, I knew. It just came to me. It's not the years that I miss. It was never, ever about the past. The memories happen to be beautiful. It helps sometimes to remember them. They are comfortable and warm. There was a youthful lightness to everything. It was perfectly me and oh so very joyful. I think about it often in that wistful way. Sometimes at night I close my eyes and try to imagine myself in those long ago days, staring out the window of my life, gazing at the quiet all around me. I'm quite fond of that place. I always will be.

What makes me nostalgic isn't the past, it's who I was in the past. Actually, it's who I wasn't, at least, it started out that way, in the beginning. Back then, I was a girl who never felt shaky or unsure about her destiny. I knew I would be fine, forever. I would talk about days in the far-flung future when I was "older"...thirty, forty, fifty, and when I was really old, sixty! I would dream about living on the ocean, once other places lost their shine. I daydreamed my future, even as it was happening. Of course I did. But, I didn't know what I didn't know. My heart didn't twist up like it does now. I was innocent about some things and, I gotta say, innocence can be a pretty cozy companion. It can be liberating, willing, big hearted, free and easy, so easy that I say to myself,  
"It's fine. I'll just move to the ocean next year."

 Right now, today, on this last day of the year, there are uncertainties about my future. Sometimes I feel like I should know exactly what comes next, but I don't. I'm in a bit of limbo, and limbo's not so cozy. not as easy. in fact it is kind of a drag. But here's what I do know. I know that I'll be happy. and that is enough.  I have that choice, and for that I am thankful. Thing will change. and change again. but I will always have the things I need most. inside of me. 
 In my mind, anyway, my too full days are tattling on each other. Years have their own momentum, I find, and this past one?  well, it was less mosey, more gallop.  Pretty much entirely due to yours truly.  Normally I wipe the calendar clean, come this time of year...mentally marking up the month to come with promises made. This year's no different.  I just need another week to make it happen. I'm hopeless at the wade in gently, but let me jump in with two feet, and I'm there. If you don't know passionate, straight up, you may well know one of its many guises.  impulsive. spontaneous. impetuous. gone-round-the-bend. defines all manner of free spirited, and rocks my world on a regular basis.  It is thrilling. and complicated. and absolutely intoxicating. Really the only problem is the way time seems to whisper my name. louder and louder. no more la-di-da-ing about. this is serious. Really?  Really!
Outside...the porch is strung with Christmas lights and snowflakes, there is a wreath on the door. It looks so snowy and lovely and I have to wonder, why don't I do this all year long? this past year was a risky venture for  the planning everything out kind of girl that I am. but it sorta worked out. it's an easy and laid back year when you fly by the wind. or the seat of your pants. and really that's just what i needed. even if there were some rocky times. but in all honesty, I would do it exactly the same way, given the chance.

this new year i'm slowing it all down. take my happiness in watching a sunrise. seeing the world covered in a frosty glitter. feeling the sun on my face. watching my cold breath mingle with the air and pretend I'm smoking a cigarette. taking the scenic route home, even if it takes longer. and I'm running late. not getting wrapprd up in fancy people or glittery things. doing things that matter. that make a difference. or make someone happy. and, oh I promise there will be love and laughter, enough to go around.
i have spent a great deal of time trying to make a perfect life. paying attention to all the details. trying to make sure all of the pieces fit.  holding things together.  keeping my heart safe from the "what ifs". protecting my people from the "come what mays". collecting all my moments into safe places. I may have missed a few. but they never broke me. only left a few cracks, enough to let in the light. and the goodness. and when there were dark places, simple things grew from them. enriched my life and made it better. gave me all I needed.

2012 is almost here. waiting on the porch. come midnight, I will welcome her with open arms and an open heart. I am a big fan of these last few hours, the ones that lead up to a new beginning. a fresh start. I like how it feels. plus, I have always been one for rituals and ceremonial hoo-hah. so,tonight, I am swimming in brand new lists.and the good news is that I am ready. as I tip toe out of this year into 2012, I send you a million wishes. and the knowledge that the magic is in the unknown. in the fact that in the end we can't predict it all. the best we can do is share the moments. all of them.

Oma's cabbage rolls
(click here for recipe) 

Peace, Love and Magic


  1. Anonymous12/31/2011

    It took me awhile to get through this. I started crying early (eyes filling up, tears rolling down)at the beauty of your words and where they take me. always to places I love to go. So, I had to wipe the tears away once, twice, three times before I finished. The best part of 2011 for me was you. Peace and love, Jodie


Post a Comment

Popular Posts