There are a lot of ones in today’s date. I like it — it signifies a fresh start, the first, the beginning, a new chance to get it right, one more opportunity. Today, I’m sitting at my desk with a whopping hangover headache, but one that was worth every Advil and glass of water I’ve downed since we arrived home at 3:00 AM. We rang in the New Year with wonderful friends last night. We laughed, ate, danced, kissed, drank, and loved. It was the perfect ending to another year, the perfect start of something new and different.
In many ways, 2010 was a bittersweet year for us. I’d guess that’s probably true for most. Because life is that way, isn’t it? For every happiness, a disappointment and a chance for growth. For each smile, a tear. It’s a delicate balance, this existence.
If 2010 taught me anything, it’s that nothing stays the same. I met and made some wonderful, irreplaceable friends this year. I unexpectedly and heartbreakingly lost another — one who has been a critical piece of my very soul for many, many years. In the year of this recession, most of my writing contracts dried up early. And although our financial stability slowly eroded, I had time to write another book, to spend with my kids, to lunch with my friends. And I would wholeheartedly argue that the money doesn’t matter as much as the time. Chris’s future career changed, then changed again, then changed a little bit more. Now our house is on the market and we’re jumping into 2011 with open arms and an unwavering belief that all will be well — whatever that “all” may be.
My friend, Shmee, wrote a beautiful blog post about the New Year titled “Sayonara, 2010.” In it, she spoke of choosing a word for the New Year that sums up the feeling state you aspire to have instead of making traditional resolutions. I thought long and hard about what word would most accurately represent where and who I want to be in 2011. I contemplated it over coffee, studied the backs of my eyelids as I pondered it some more. (Okay, maybe that was the hangover…) And when it came to me, it arrived in a brilliant flash of “aha!”
I don’t mean the “gift” kind. (Although I’m happy to oblige anyone who feels a strong urge to bring me gifts in 2011. I’m just a giver that way.) What I mean is that I intend to be present. To savor each moment. To know that where I am is exactly where I’m supposed to be and that every step I take is a critical piece of this life’s journey.
Instead of letting myself feel like nothing more than a taxi as I shuttle my kids to and fro, I’m going to savor my time with them. We’ll talk, we’ll catch up, we’ll sing to Lady Gaga. Instead of half-listening to Chris while I’m answering emails, I’ll sit with him and give him my undivided attention. Instead of complaining about scrubbing the toilets for the 15th time this week, I’ll relish the fact that we have yet another showing. Instead of worrying about what the future will hold and trying to plan for every possible bend in the road, I will enjoy the journey. I will appreciate the scenery. I will hold on for dear life as the wind rushes through my hair.
Easy? Not always. Important? Undoubtedly.
Every moment has meaning. Everything that happens in a lifetime is part of the experience. Good, bad, or indifferent, I resolve to live each moment fully. To accept the present that is presence.
Hello, 2011. It’s nice to meet you.