New Year’s Revolutions…

Here we are…less than 9 hours left for us in 2011.  The blank slate lays before us, waiting to be written on…

What do we want to do next year?  The idea of “resolutions” doesn’t quite appeal to me because it implies I’ve resolved to do something and there’s a failure clause built into them.  I’d rather go with my oldest son’s childhood expression: New Year’s revolutions.  It was cute at the time, now it just makes sense…if you go with the political definition, well, it’s not necessarily positive (especially if you are being revolted against,) but if you go with “a dramatic and wide-reaching change in the way something works or is organized or in people’s ideas about it” you might be a little more comfortable with this notion.

So…for 2012 this is what we revolve towards:

1)  We’re all going to get healthier, exercise more and eat well…

2)  We’re going to be more independent of each other, and actually enjoy our time together even more…

3)  J’s going to push his own shopping cart at the store…

4)  We’re going to get better at recycling…

In general, we’re going to try to figure out what “happy” really means for us…as it evolves.  I think we’re getting there.  I think there’s a better grasp on what’s important, but -of course, it’s going to change over time because we will change over time.

Our list is short, but we allow ourselves the option for amendments and additions.  In spring and summer we will garden as best we can with the limited space we have; we’ll ride the bus rather than take the car; sit outside rather than sit indoors…  We’ll try to worry less.  We’ll try to be a little better as people.

Why are we being so lax about this?  I guess because I can no longer promise myself I’ll have the body I had when I was 20 or 30 or even 40.  I can still have dreams and aspirations, but I’ve learned that short-term is going to work better as I get older.  The more I shuffle about looking for a dream, the more I’m letting go past me without realizing it…and, well, J is going to be seventeen in less than a month!!!  He’s not a little boy anymore and I am suddenly very much aware of this…

You know what happens when you realize your youngest child is no longer a little boy?  You also realize that you’re no longer a young girl.  I’m way past childbearing age and keeping my roots dark is going to take a whole lot more effort because, well, gray is the color that rules these days.  Also, and I have to admit this, I have to keep readjusting my glasses to look at those things that I could see with no effort at all a mere seven years ago…

I’m ready for the new year.  We all are.  There is a little trepidation involved, but we wouldn’t be human if we didn’t feel some of that mixed into the hope.

A few of our young neighbors came over earlier today as we were taking down the Christmas lights.  They were looking for our oldest son because he is quite the playmate…at 20 he is so full of energy and so capable of childish joy that the seven to nine year-old set is just nuts about playing with him.  They came to the door ten times before we managed to roll the young man out of bed and out the door to play Xbox with them.  One of the kids (he’s eight) told me he was worried the world was coming to an end at midnight.  I simply told him I’ve had the same concern for about 46 new years’ eves and he opened his eyes as big as they would go.  I asked him if he knew who Charles Schulz was…none of the kids knew.  I asked them if they knew Charlie Brown…aaaaaaaaaaaaaaoooooooooooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhh!  Yes!  Of COURSE!  Well, I told them, Charles Schulz was the guy who came up with Charlie Brown and all his friends…(one of them remembered the Schulz at the bottom of the comic strips) and he once said “Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today. It is already tomorrow in Australia.”  The smiles spread over the faces rather quickly, a mass of freckles danced with mirth as they suddenly decided they could have a New Year’s party…at 2 P.M….with s’mores…and popcorn…and Xbox games…and a movie…

J smiled benevolently at the young invaders, and I think he inspired a little awe in them.  They sat at the dining room table, looking at the big guy with the two hats and the Slinky.  They asked questions about him…rather gingerly…and I answered them as best as I could.  And then one of the kids, the one who was worried about the end of the world being close at hand, said something that made this whole year worth the trouble: “Well, HE sure seems happy!  I always see him smiling!”  And off to their party they went, leaving behind a wake of wonderment…I thought I was consoling that boy, and he ended up putting a whole 365 days in perspective for us…go figure!

Stay safe out there.  Unwrap the coming year with care and hope and awe.  We haven’t broken it yet.  It is fresh and waiting for us.  Good things are going to happen…and if we are willing to let them, they will teach us a thing or two or maybe even three…

From us and especially from J: blessings and hope for 2012.

 

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