One resolution I have made, and try always to keep, is this:
To rise above the little things.
Yesterday was New Year’s Day, January 1st, the beginning of a new year and the dawn of a new decade.
I dreamt of my father, who died nearly eight years ago. Eight. God. It was brought on, I imagine, because I asked my kids on New Year’s Eve to remember my Uncle George, my father’s brother, who passed this fall. I asked them to fix him in their memories, so they could tell their cousin Eva, who was born only a few weeks before his death, about him. How pleased he was when she was born.
Memory is funny, I guess; in my dreamspace it was literally like walking, talking, drinking coffee with my dad again. I guess in a sense I really was; our memories are our reality while we are dreaming. But, my rational, conscious mind kept butting in and reminding me that my dad is gone, and so there was a bit of terror mixed in- duality- I woke up drenched in sweat, and afraid.
And then so, so freaking sad, as I realized again that he was gone. But for a morning I was able to hear echoes of his voice, smell his shampoo, just remember what it was like to sit next to him. I remembered.
Later on in the day I realized I’d lost the sound of his voice again. Sigh. Does it ever get any easier?
Anyway. My point being (yes, I do have a point to make here), just because January 1 is the first day of the year doesn’t mean that everything is shiny and new. It has its highs and lows, just like any other day, just like any other week, month, year, decade.
The key to happiness, I’ve decided, is knowing that life is cyclical, in being content to ride out the low points until things start looking up, and taking the time to enjoy the sun on your face and the breeze in your hair once you reach the top.
New Year’s Day is the moment when you get to pause at the pinnacle, hold your breath and feel butterflies in your stomach, look out over the year left behind and the year ahead. It’s a moment of perspective.
An opportunity to rise above the little things, make big plans, dream lofty dreams, if only just for one day.
I don’t really have any resolutions for 2011, other than a vague “More Martha, less Roseanne.” I plan to wear heels more, just because I like the clack- clack- clack sound they make on my floors. I bought myself Fiestaware so that I would better enjoy my time in the kitchen. And I’m trying to talk my sister-in-law into a standing once-a-month movie date just to ensure I do something fun every once in a while.
I plan to feel better about myself. Just in general.
What I do have is a faded page ripped out of a Real Simple magazine, that’s been pinned to my bulletin board above my desk for years now. Words to live by. They’ve done so much good for me, I thought I’d share with you: to help with perspective in 2011.
1. Allow yourself the chance to really savor each moment.
2. Optimism isn’t just a shift in perspective. It’s an act of bravery.
3. Only you can decide the path worth taking.
4. Don’t wait for your mood to change; take action despite it.
5. Approach gift shopping as an opportunity to honor the people you really love.
6. Rather than search for a single miracle food, strive for a varied and delicious diet.
7. You can’t grow without pushing your limits.
8. Stop worrying about getting sick- focus on your health instead.
9. Don’t believe what you hear. Life is good.
10. No one knows what the future will bring. Put your energy into now.
And my own addition: take the time to notice all the little things about the people that you love. Take no one, nothing, for granted.
Happy New Year, everybody. May this year bring you everything you need.