Happy New Year from Scottsdale!
I was asleep at 9 on New Year’s Eve. This certainly sets a new record for me and could have been even earlier if my sugar-crazed youngster hadn’t been spinning like a whirling dervish around the house as I tried to corral him toward bed. I was up early yesterday morning refining my 2017 thoughts and goals (like hella early), and then did an intense treadmill run with my uncle, then a trip to the Hall of Flame fire truck museum (recommend), then a family party. I was beyond ready to experience the changeover from the lush perspective of sleep.
I’ve always gotten reflective around New Year’s and, as an adult, have almost always set goals (“drink more water”) and/or come up with themes or mantras (I remember one angry year was, “I am not responsible for other people’s shit”). Then I would go out to several parties, drink massive amounts of champagne, and end up going home with that guy who always seemed like a great idea at the time.
I’d wake up sick. Many New Year’s Days were spent in bed, mourning the choices of the night before. It just seemed like part of the deal- this is what people do, at least it’s what my people did. But I was also aware of the paradox of waking up already having broken all the resolutions in the wee hours of the morning, feeling like the year was already jinxed.
And it was, in so many ways. I later learned how to take better care of myself but jeez Louise I’m 43 and just starting to get the hang of it. These are the things that give me pause about being a parent- is my child going to make dumb choices well into his thirties? Can I spare him in some way? I know that answer is no. I can warn him. We all make the dumbest dumbest choices in younger years. I may look back later on dumb choices I’m making now, but I already feel so much better. I don’t exactly regret it all because I had to go through all that to get here (and obviously there were some good times) but yes: youth is absolutely wasted on the young.
This New Year’s, the state of our nation may get even more 2016-y before it gets better, but I sense more hope now. I sense more rational people standing up, a more committed and sincere army of love fighters rising. Love always wins. Everyone knows this. It’s going to get worse before it gets better, but it will get better. That’s my hopeful position. (I’m a little nervous that what we thought was 2016 will turn out to be our new reality although I’m a little puzzled by all the celebrity deaths… that can’t go on this way, can it?)
Today, my silent Fitbit alarm went off at 6am so I could get up for my one hour of meditation and writing. This is new. I tried it last year at this time and it didn’t work at all. E awoke within ten minutes, discovering my empty side of the bed. This ends up being worse than not even trying because then you’re up early with a not-sleeping kiddo. So, I ditched that plan within three days.
Last year at this time, I was consumed with the problem of where to move. I had crunched some numbers and I knew I needed to leave SF, but it was not clear to me where to go. I had a short list of cities. I spent much of my mental bandwidth in the spring working that problem, finally realizing that it would be idiotic to go anywhere that I don’t have family, deciding on Chicago, visiting in April, returning to find a place in July, moving in August. Then we spent a few months getting settled- buying furniture, hanging pictures, getting the household flow figured out. The arc of the year delivered us to Arizona for Christmas, settled and ready to think about new intentions.
Long ago, I set myself an end-of-year deadline to wean E, and I did it. I’ll write about this later because now E is up and watching videos next to me on the couch, under a cozy blanket. It’s pouring rain and starting to get light.
My new morning routine will go like this: get up an hour before E to meditate and write. And I’ll also join the Y, where I’ll work out after dropping him off at school a few times a week. That’s pretty much it. It’s going to change my life.
Of course, today we’re on vacation, so we can just sit here and look at videos like this one.
Wishing you the best year ever. Don’t get sucked in by those “New Year, New You!” magazine headlines- you can and should and will remain the old, beautiful, you. xoxo