Grr. I still can’t figure out how to move photos, or I’d put a photo of me naked, dancing around the New Year’s Bonfire with elves and angels … Naaah, I’m too tired to go with the fantasy. It’s seventeen below right now, but at lest there’s no breeze. It’s been so freaking cold this week that I’ve barely left the house, and I’m used to the weather. I remember one Christmas when the thermometer dipped to minus 42 (but then popped right up to a balmy minus 36). I’m like the logger in the old song. I wear a hat at 10 degrees, at zero I button up my coat. But this stuff is nasty.
But I had a glorious Christmas, my kids are doing very well indeed, my grandchildren are fabulous – they probably initiated FaceTime more than half a dozen times this week – last night Ali fell asleep talking to me.
So it’s the new year, end to a horrible year, which followed a terrible year (remember how we all said 2016 was awful). Signs are not good for 2018. We have to stay strong against injustice, kind to everyone (even the people who don’t deserve it) and good to ourselves because right now life is a challenge given the state of the world, both natural and political. Apparently kindness makes the kind person happier. I’m generally a kind person, and I’m happy. Not necessarily proof – when I’m not in a depression I tend to be a happy person. Years ago (I’m thinking around 1960) I was in the library at Valley Road School in Princeton, and I had a miserable cold. Just awful. And I sat at the table and thought, instead of always noticing when I’m feeling awful, I’m going to pay attention to when I Don’t have a cold, and enjoy that. Pretty advanced thinking for someone in sixth grade, but I’ve tried to do that whenever I could. It’s a better way to live, when you can do it.
We’ve been picking words again to symbolize our coming year. Last year mine was “glide.” It wasn’t soar – that was too much effort, and I didn’t need to soar. I needed to glide peacefully on the breeze, smooth and free. It was a good pick.
Oddly enough, this year mine is “celebrate,” and it goes back to that day in the library. Each day when my kids are okay, when no one is sick, when the sky is bright blue, when the cats curl up next to me, when I’m writing, sewing, baking, cleaning, singing, shopping, sleeping.
Bad things happen. There’ve been many occasions this year when I’ve simply had to take a break from the news and the horrible things that are happening in our country. But I can still celebrate while I fight the good fight, and I can celebrate the fact that we’re not taking freedom for granted any more, that we are energized and involved and not just ignoring the terrible things the Fat Cats are doing. There’s good everywhere.
So choose a word. Sometimes it’s simply endure. Or comfort. Or laughter. Or growth, light, learn. Try for something positive rather than simply reactive, and remember it as you move through the year. I promise you it will help.
Okay, ante up. What’s your word?