Happy New Year.
I spent New Year’s Eve at home with the boys, as usual. The end of the decade and the start of a new decade provoked a reflective mood.
It’s been a hell of a decade.
It started with me going back to school and getting divorced.
Our celebration of the New Year is a peculiar thing. We invest it with all kinds of magic and believe it will somehow change everything.
The coming of a new year gives us the ability to imagine that we can wipe the slate clear and start all over. We arise, full of good intentions and alcohol-induced resolve, to create resolutions and decide on what goals we will pursue.
That’s nonsense, of course. For one thing, life is full of beginnings and endings. Every birth, every death, every graduation, every bar mitzvah, every christening, every wedding, every divorce — all of them represent new beginnings of one sort or another. Beginnings are sprinkled throughout any life, and every one of them offers an opportunity to start all over again in one way or another.
Most of the time, we don’t take advantage of all those opportunities. That’s because of another peculiarity of us peculiar humans. The sad fact of the matter is that we usually lose our enthusiasm for all those new beginnings … fairly quickly, much of the time. Here we are, six days into the new year and its already feeling stale and dishearteningly normal. Never mind verve and resolve. Today was just another hump day, like hundreds we’ve lived through and thousands more that reside in the misty future.
This blog isn’t any particular kind of blog, in case you hadn’t noticed.
There are certain themes I touch on regularly, depending on where I’m at in this journey, what I am most preoccupied with. For the most part, however, this blog is really just about me. Yes, I know that sounds egocentric and I suppose it is. Other people write humor blogs or writing blogs or relationship blogs or health and fitness blogs. I am not so interesting but I did warn you about that.
And it’s probably not fair to say this blog is just about me. It’s not really. This blog is about a journey, one particularly journey through life, starting from a particularly time immediately on the other side of a whole bunch of shit. This isn’t even the first time I have come through a whole bunch of shit, or the first time I have found myself starting out again from beyond a certain crucible.
I’m kind of hoping that last one — which was a doozy, I’ll admit — will be my last one. I’m getting too old for this stuff.
But I digress.
While I can’t truly say that this blog has a theme, I can say that sometimes a certain thread runs through my writings thanks to what I happen to be doing or thinking about at a given point in time. I write a lot about my kids, their trials, tribulations and peccadilloes. That’s because they’re important to me, obviously, and even though they are all grown, that doesn’t mean they have finished doing all the growing they are going to do or even need to do. They are still picking directions for their lives. They are still working on that great life essay — What I want to be when I grow up.
Then again, I’m still working on that one myself and I’m a lot older than they are. I’m not in a position to hold my nose up in the air at anybody’s unfinished life.
I believe I mentioned to you just recently that I am in a kind of limbo place because, for at least the first couple of months of the year, I was going to be waiting for stuff.
So now that the holidays are over, and the lights and decorations are gone, and the lovely meals became leftovers and even those are gone, and we are left with nothing but cold and snow and fond memories of hangovers gone by, I am waiting.
I really suck at it.
That is, I really suck at waiting for things that I want rather badly. If I’m waiting for something I am not looking forward to (like a colonoscopy) or something I don’t really care about (like the Presidents Day sales at the mall), then I don’t even notice. I’m not thinking about it. Or maybe I’m avoiding thinking about it. In that case, you might even say that I’m not really waiting at all.
But when I’m waiting for something that I am looking forward to (like Spring) or something I really want (like acceptance into graduate school) or something I really need (like my income tax refund), then I have this tendency to make myself crazy by sliding into an orgy of anticipation.