Posted by: morrowsl | January 2, 2011

Out with the old…

I remember New Year’s Day 2010 as being not at all unlike this New Year’s Day.  I sat with my coffee (or maybe tea) and recalled the year just gone by and was not at all saddened by the idea of moving on.  It’s a thing with me and the day; knowing now what I didn’t know the previous January 1st makes it easy for me to allow the year to slip off into memory so that the hardest parts can finally be pushed to the rear of my brain’s storage unit and ignored until it no longer pains me to recall them.  Then, unlike now, I was looking forward to the forecast of snow (and boy did we get it!!) and the idea of not working at a job I detested and an upcoming trip to Philly in Feb.  Much beyond that was too far in the future to even consider and if I’d only been able to see into that future I wouldn’t have been in such a hurry to have it become the present.

2010 will be long remembered as the year of great loss.  I hate using such a negative tag for even one day, much less a year, but there’s really no other way to describe it.  We lost our beloved Black Lab, Sally, to lung cancer and probably a brain tumor.  And our beautiful Ellen to leukemia.  And our gentle, sweet Ginny to Alzheimer’s.  And our insanely funny and loveable Danny to a pulmonary embolism that brought an end to his battle with prostrate cancer.

Loss.  I’m so tired of marking the years by the number of people who died in them.

So perhaps I should view 2011 as the start of something more than a year.  It is the beginning of a new decade, sure.  That alone will help me see it as a cleaner clean slate.  What else?  Oh yeah, I start this year with my very first passport!  Fifty-three years of life and I finally have a reason to own a passport.  Now when I go to the airport and park at Terminal D it will be for something greater than a trip out west.  Although the trips I’ve made out west were all exciting and fun and each one brought new things to my life.  I finally understood why Arizona was my daughter’s heart’s destination.  I was gifted with watching my grandson moving in his mother’s belly and the glow of motherlove on her face when she placed her hands gently over him and patted.  And shortly thereafter I held him for the first time and listened as my sister gave sage advice to the newest mom in our family.  But now my visits to the other side of the airport will be for International boarding and that scary place they call Customs.

On New Year’s Eve I rode with my sister to the biggest flea market in Texas so she could pick up a piece of furniture she’d purchased.  The two of us have logged countless miles in cars on highways and the conversations never lag and are usually full of snorts and laughter.  This one was just that.  But we also talked about our futures and what we feel they hold.  Not just the new year to come but all the years that stretch out before us like the highway we were rolling along.  We agreed that the best place for the two of us is together.  We work well in the same space and what one of us can’t think of the other can, so we are good at solving problems and figuring things out.  It follows that we should combine our efforts toward a mutual goal and set up homekeeping together.  Her husband is semi-disabled, mine is nearing retirement and they get along well enough to become backyard fishing buddies without much effort.  We just need to make sure there’s a body of water in their backyard with fish in it!  Sister cooks.  REALLY cooks.  I clean.  REALLY clean.  So we fit together pretty well.  Maybe 2011 will be the year we all relocate to the country.

After growing up in a house full of “junk” collected by me, my oldest daughter has begun to realize that one person’s “junk” is another’s treasure and there is beauty in old stuff if you just know how to look at it.  She’s fallen head over heels for things that wear their years proudly in the chipped paint and scuff marks and dents and dull patina.  I couldn’t be happier!  This gives us new avenues to venture down.  This may well become the year we both learn to refinish furniture and sew cushion covers and make hammered metal jewelry.  The possibilities are endless and I am anxious to begin!!

I normally don’t make New Year’s resolutions.  For one, I don’t keep them.  To do that I would have to remember what I resolved to do in the first place.  So for several years now I have just stated firmly that I will resolve to “do better”, whatever that means.  I’ll try harder not to gain weight or to park further out so I have to walk more.  I vow to be nicer to people in general and not call them idiots until I’m out of earshot.  Stuff like that.  This year I have said that I will try harder to find rest.  To be at peace.  To look for solace in the simple things.  To clear out the clutter that makes my life difficult and wastes my time.  In a word I have resolved to “simplify” my life.  I will not volunteer to host Thanksgiving.  We’re all going to a local restaurant so that I won’t have to host, cook, or clean up!!  Between now and then I promised myself and my family that I will work really hard at not insisting everything be so “perfect” all the time.  I’ll let things go.  I’ll only clean one day each week and if I don’t finish I’ll just do it next week.  These are major steps for me.  I’ve spent a lifetime honing my skills so that housework is a part of every step I take and every trip from one end of my house to the other.

I’m still not willing to look too far into the future, but I do know this year will not be one that’s remarkable because of all the negatives.

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