Things I am thinking on at the start of another year, in no particular order.
- New Year is different when you don’t urgently want something. I love NY but the past… many… have felt increasingly desperate for me; I just needed that one thing (a job that wasn’t terrible) and it was very hard to look beyond that one wish for the year ahead. All my introspections and setting of intentions and such happened in the shadow of that need and were coloured by it. Now, I have that one thing; there’s room for improvement, sure, but I’m very aware of everything that has gone right and honestly? I don’t care about anything much. Just for this minute, I’m very happy to just sit with this feeling that things are good. Who needs goals.*
- I am going into 2022 with no diary, for the first time… ever? I realized over the past few months that I wasn’t using my deeply beloved planner (Moleskine weekly notebook, XL, perfect in every way) except to scrawl lists, and while I had a system that served me exceptionally well for years, apparently I need a new system. This feels weirdly revolutionary.
- Also revolutionary: the other night we went to see a movie (Bond, and yes we have opinions) and didn’t get a babysitter. We just… went out! Leaving the kids on the couch with Nintendo! It’s incredibly exciting to think we have reached a stage where date night is actually an easy option. A worries a little about what mischief they could get up to, because he well remembers the mischief that he got up to when left alone with his friend Andre, but you see, our kids do not have an Andre in their lives. Much less chance of mayhem. Much, much less.
- The last year, even the last half-year, have been pretty breathtaking on the parenting front. It’s hard to write about because privacy, but C’s journey has been amazing to watch. Not that there’s anything dramatic to report, but she’s had so much going on on the inside, and being the “shockingly independent” creature she is (her teacher’s words), we haven’t been allowed in; we just watched the external effects and guessed at what was happening and tried to help her feel her way through it. Which she seems to have done, and the evidence is that she’s fizzing again. That’s something I used to say in her toddler years – when she was happy and relaxed, she fizzed. More recently I remembered saying it, but I couldn’t really remember what it was like, or why I used that image. Now, the fizz is back. It’s pretty awesome.
- I’m very aware of how lucky we are, in… well, pretty much everything. Sometimes things are hard, but the bedrock of our lives is extremely solid and my family is pure awesomesauce. All around I see how different it can be. For a number of friends, life is literally full of big, unsolvable problems that they just have to live with. There’s no chance of getting past it, or fixing it; no one to blame, nowhere to pass the buck. Just: this is shit. This is my shit. This is how it is, for always. It’s unbearable, but they have to bear it. Perspective, eh.
- I miss blogging. I cherish the boundaries I’ve set up, limiting computer time on non-work days etc, and I am not sure how I can fit it back in my life. But I’m enough of a narcissist that I really feel the lack of navel gazing. Damn this “setting priorities” and “making choices” nonsense.
* Me. I love goals and personal challenges and all that shit. But it’s quite refreshing to give myself a break. No resolutions here at all – although the “clear your desk every night” thing from two years ago was good and needs to make a comeback, really.