As the New Year begins, I always wonder what all of the hype is about. Why does everyone get so amped up about New Year’s Eve? I suppose I can see the appeal of the New Year, but I don’t buy it. I’m sure some see it as a fresh start. There is something strangely enticing about peeling off the plastic wrap of a brand new calendar. An exhilaration that comes with running your hands over the empty boxes, just waiting for the fun activities to be penciled in their vacant spaces. Some may also see it as a time to improve themselves, making resolutions that are often never met. Lose ten pounds? Nope, not today, I had three vodka tonics last night and now I need a bacon, egg and cheese to soak them up before they come back out. Save more money? But I just planned an awesome vacation in my head. Keep a cleaner, more organized house? Sure, right after my kids finish throwing all of their new Christmas gifts around the playroom for the next month. In many cases, people are really just looking for a way to move on, to turn over a new leaf as you turn a new page on that great calendar of life. And this year, I can identify with that.
Amidst the holiday hoopla, I took a break from blogging. Not for lack of topics to write on. A day didn’t pass that I couldn’t picture myself writing about some subject or another. The hours in the day just seemed to diminish the further into December we got. I took time to reflect; there were a lot of highs and lows in 2012. As I make my peace with each one of them, I see the yin and the yang, the good and the evil coexisting everywhere. Wonderful times like watching my big girl perform holiday songs with her fellow preschoolers warmed my heart. Hearing of the unimaginable tragedy in Newtown shook me to my core and left me questioning what very little faith I had had to begin with. I wanted to write about this, but felt nothing I could say did justice in the face of something so unjust. It’s not that I want to turn away and pretend like it didn’t happen, but I do see the novelty of the New Year somehow silently allowing us to move on. It is something we can, and will, revisit and respect, and like so many other painful memories, we will never forget. We can, however, try to pick ourselves up and keep going right into the New Year. We can tackle the things that come up along the way, those that we can plan for and those that we cannot. We can accept the challenges and rejoice in the victories.
I see the year laid out before me. I know its cyclical nature. I was trying to explain it to the big girl tonight. I found it easiest to tell her about the holidays and birthdays we will celebrate again in the same order. She’s already excited about telling everyone she loves that she loves him or her on February 14th. It’s confusing and a bit disappointing that Christmas is over, but she’s happy to move on now that she knows about the Valentine’s Day cards and cookies we will make. I am excited to see these days through her eyes. My girls help me to be less cynical and more optimistic about the promise of the future. And now I understand why the revelers in Times Square are so wide-eyed. It’s probably not the copious amounts of uppers they’ve just taken; it’s the high you get when your future looks as bright as that famous ball. It’s shiny and new and ready to turn 2013 into something magical. Happy New Year!