Photo: So, Mom bought the boys this Twister Trax set off the QVC… she and my step-father put the track together on Christmas Eve for full effect presentation on Christmas Day. The little boys… oh my God… it’s like, why did we get them anything else for Christmas?
My husband and I were in bed by 10, asleep by 10:15. We joked about how old we are, how unimportant midnight has become, how little we need to drink champagne or have a smooch. My husband laughed and wondered out loud why we stay up until midnight anyway. “We stay up to confirm that the world isn’t going to end,” I told my him. “If it comes, though, I’d like to put on the record that I firmly believe that it’s your fault.”
He chuckled and rolled over. We slept blissfully until 8:30.
I spent a lot of time this week thinking about today and this new, fresh year. I’m an optimist and long time readers know that I’ve started years past with long lists of lofty goals. Not resolutions per se, but task lists. Stuff to do. Yes, there is plenty that I’d like to accomplish within the next 366 days, but… I don’t know, Dear Reader, I’m just not in a jump-to-it kind of mood.
There will be plenty to look forward to in 2016, but there are a lot of challenges, too. I think my anxiety comes from how precious, how tenuous it all seems to be. We have so much preciousness in our life right now, and this year feels especially fragile. The Fusion ticked over 100,000 miles last month and we need her to get us through one more year as our sole family car (she’ll be paid off this time next year and we’re planning on purchasing a new car. She has gotta get us there…). The boys will be ending their school year at this preschool we worked so hard to get into, then they will head off to new schools and Major will be entering kindergarten. These feel high-stakes to me, though I know better. But still… we’ll all stepping into new communities, new routines, new expectations this year. There are two major projects slated for the house this year: the painting of the kitchen and the nursery make-over. While the kitchen will be quick and relatively inexpensive, the nursery is going to be a logistical nightmare and a big-ticket affair.New beds. New mattresses. New dressers? A reading nook? Do we have the money to do it right? We’re young parents with plenty of financial worries in the new year: debt, student loans, preschool tuition, the mortgage and car note… and with interest rates slowly going up this year, it’s all going to get more expensive…
And that’s when I got to wondering:
What if it all comes crashing down? What if we make a severe misstep this year? What if we go right when we should go left and somehow that makes the sky fall? What if the Fates just decide to treat us unkindly? What if our luck simply runs out?
It’s an ugly thought. So ugly. Such unnecessary energy to borrow on. But, you know… there were critical moments in 2015. We were at the hospital 3 times this year. There were problems with the car, the house…there were two deaths in the family, moments of failure… some of our favorite relationships significantly changed or abruptly ended. We didn’t know they were going to happen, but they did.
There will be moments of crisis in 2016. It’s just the reality of things.
It all feels so delicate, Dear Reader.
It’s a sober Quiet Thought for this first Friday of the new year, but it’s what I have.
It’s 4pm on the first of the year, and we’ve already been very productive. We cleaned out the boys’ closet and lowered the rod so that way we can hang up their clothing, making more room in the dresser for their pajamas and other items. This will significantly change the function of their room, believe it or not! We also re-arranged our bedroom so that way The Husband and I don’t have to share one power outlet anymore. This resulted in the bed and the television being moved over by a couple feet and the dresser being moved to a different corner. You’d be surprised how much effort that took–heavy items, lots of dust to clean up, lots of “hmmm” and “what if…?” as we toyed around with options…
And then, my husband taught me how to use Google Slides to design quilts. Because I’m designing a new one, which uses diamonds instead of squares, which is actually a big deal for me. New ways of looking at shapes, new ways of attaching them, and probably new ways of cutting the fabric, too!
That’s just in the fledgling hours of our first day. Hands grab hold of new projects, the mind conceives of new ideas, feet propel us forward, things change in satisfying ways.
These things will make 2016 successful. The small things that get done, the precious things appreciated more than ever. Hopefully, with daily diligence, these small things will result in big things to look back on with pride… maybe even relief.
This blog saw steady growth in 2016. Old names continue to stop by regularly and say hello, and I’m so glad. New names popped in for a comment or two. I’m learning that there are many “lurkers” who are here regularly but may not say anything. No pressure, ya’ll. I’m glad you’re here. I hope that I can continue to impress you this year, that you come away from my little posts feeling like the read was worth your time. I hope that I can write a thing or two that surprise or compel. I hope you’ll tell me when I’m doing something right or, more importantly, when I’m doing something wrong. Above all, though, I hope you’ll share with me this year. We’re all in this together.
On this first Friday of the new year, I wish you black eyed peas and collard greens if you haven’t already had some. The peas are for luck, the greens are for money. We had ours last night. Very, very important. I wish you time to write a thank-you note or two, or maybe give someone a call. I wish you time to shop with gift cards, or maybe brunch with friends. I hope you consider investing in a book or maybe a little cafe in your neighborhood. I wish you time to dream up a project to do this year–just one tangible thing to produce between now and the next ball drop. I wish you a stroll through a cookbook. Is there something you’d like to cook this year? (I got the America’s Test Kitchen Complete Cookbook for Christmas and I just can’t even wait to get started!) I wish you sleep this weekend and warmth against the coming cold. I wish you something naturally beautiful to stare at and contemplate for a moment. I hope you have a chance to share it with someone else. Mostly, this first day of 2016, I wish you the reminder that you entered this world as a loved person and you enter this year the same way. You are loved and admired, Dear Reader, and you will do things this year that will only amplify that. Step into this year powerfully and confident, knowing that no matter what happens between now and ball drop, you are worthy of the love that surrounds you. Always.
Until Monday, Dear Reader, take care.