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My 42nd New Year. (Keep in mind my first year was only 43 days long)

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I’m not going to start this blog with an apology about how rarely I blog. If I were hitting you everyday and apologizing each time, it would not change the fact that I hit you every day, would it? No. So let us just not speak of it at all.

I am one of those people who spends some time reflecting on New Year’s Eve. I don’t want to be. I have tried not to be. No getting around it, I just am. I’m not severe about it. I mean, I’m not kicking myself all night for not being who I thought I would be when I daydreamed in middle school. Much. Mostly, I take a quick inventory and try to motivate myself to go in one direction or another.

The first time I remember really putting any thought into it I was six months past college graduation and waiting tables at Cha Cha Coconuts. Even if I had been any good at waiting tables, I think that job would have given me cause for self evaluation. As it was, I knew I had to get out of that situation and fast. I stood at the top of the St. Petersburg Pier, watched my customers stumble about, groping and kissing and singing that song while the fireworks went off, and I cried. I cried just enough that it motivated me and I did get out of there. (Briefly, I moved on alright- to a short career as a cover band singer, to a new apartment, and to an abusive relationship. The following New Year I played in that band at a house party for some people who had no teeth but had recently won the lottery. Yeah, that motivated me too.)

So, I’m 41, and it’s about to be a new year. I just had a baby, so resolution or not there will be weight lost. I would like to resolve to keep my mouth shut at work (bwah hah hahah!) That will never be accomplishable. I try that one and fail every year. I would like to resolve to take piano lessons. I don’t have a piano. There are other resolutions I should kick around and shoot down, but I’ll do it on my own time.

Last year I didn’t reflect at all for the first time in many years. Last year on NYE I got engaged. He proposed moments before we left to walk to the party down the street (oh how I miss living a block away from people I love). I said yes, and we happily strolled to our friends’ house. Before midnight struck, way before, we had to leave the party because I wasn’t feeling well. Before midnight struck I was back at home and I knew I was having a miscarriage. I took a lot of Aleve and passed out as James watched the ball drop on his iPhone and told me Happy New Year, and that he loved me.

A month later I realized I was already pregnant again (5% chance, my ass), and we were looking for a new house and starting a new life.

So I didn’t make any resolutions in 2011, but 2011 seemed to sort of make them for me.

I don’t know what I’ll be thinking about as the clock strikes midnight this year. (Maybe a scheme will begin to brew to get a smaller dining room table and squeeze in that piano…) I’m very happy with my new little family. But who out there is ever totally satisfied with the person that they have become? Who doesn’t reflect on that? (All my exes, hah ah aha hah…) No, really. Seriously. I hope I’m struck dumb with realization.

Van only writes when things get crazy, she is inconsistent at best. Don't get hooked. She is otherwise busy being a mom, wife, professional tidying maven (yes, that's a thing for which people will pay money), and working at killing the cancer.

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3 Responses to “My 42nd New Year. (Keep in mind my first year was only 43 days long)”

  1. Van,

    Is joy found only through struggle?

    The bravest thing in life is acceptance. I don’t think anyone really is the person he or she has ‘become’ until the grave. Only then will you be complete because, finally, a person is the sum total of his choices and only then can you do a final tally. Life is a continuum and the joy to be found is in living it. You are very much alive and you have many things left to enjoy.

    I live on the top floor of my building that overlooks a cemetery that’s over 150 years old. In the summer I can see the lights of Wrigley Field. From fall through winter the leaves go, and the geese stop by in this beautiful lake in the middle. I imagine it to be the same lake that borders Italy and Switzerland. But it’s not. Those people are dead. I can see this beautiful cemetery through the window as I sit her writing to you. And they’re jealous.

    Here’s one of my favorite quotes from F. Scott Fitzgerald in a letter to his daughter when she was going off to university:

    “…I never believe much in happiness. I never believe in misery either. Those are things you see on the stage or the screen or the printed page, they never really happen to you in life…All I believe in in life is the rewards for virtue (according to your talents) and the punishments for not fulfilling your duties, which are doubly costly…By this I mean the thing that lies behind all great careers, from Shakespeare’s to Abraham Lincoln’s, and as far back as there are books to read––the sense that life is essentially a cheat and its conditions are those of defeat, and that the redeeming things are not “happiness and pleasure” but the deeper satisfactions that come out of struggle. Having learned this in theory from the lives and conclusions of great men, you can get a hell of a lot more enjoyment out of whatever bright things come your way.”

    All the best to you in the year to come.


  2. Well, alright.

  3. Did you stop posting?!

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