Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Batten Down the Hatches.

Everyone has been posting years-in-review, and resolutions, and UNresolutions. For me the New Year is usually a great time - a deep breath of cold air, arms thrown out to the winter wind, smiling face upturned to the sunlight. Not so, this time. This time, the post-Christmas letdown has been dogging me since....well, since before Christmas even began.

I've learned some things this year. I was originally just going to post that - the "Things I've Learned" list, joining the rest of the known blogoverse in their Old Year retrospection and New Year prospection. I thought about that a fair bit as I spent today on my couch, fingers flying on the Log Cabin blanket. To the casual observer I'm sure I looked content, happy, and maybe even peaceful. But my inner child spent the entire day huddled into a corner, hugging herself nervously.

It took me until this evening to realize what I was feeling: what I have been feeling for days upon days, watching 2008 approach.


The passage of time, the approach of another year. It doesn't bring new opportunities, better conditions, more elevated thoughts, increase, improvement. For me this year, the winter wind simply carries with it the threat of illness, the possibility of loss, and the certainty of fear. In the past the small victories and occasional moments of happiness were enough to make up for all of that. I don't know whether that's true anymore.

When I was toying with the idea of a lighthearted New Year post, I had two lists. One was "Things I've Learned". Things like "when buying a Christmas tree stand, GET THE EXPENSIVE ONE" and "you're never too young for a rectal exam". The other list was "What Happens Next". This was the optimism part, with things like "use my stash" and "run 100 miles by April 1". I sat there thinking about it, then with my mental Sharpie I drew a big black line through the whole damn thing.

It turns out the only thing I want for the coming year is that my family is healthy and unharmed, and my friend is cancer free.

I don't want to have whatever 2008 will throw at me. I have a feeling it won't be hugs and puppies.

As far as Life goes, the meaning thereof and the secret to success and whatnot, I guess it's just a matter of grimly hanging on: achieving longevity and - maybe - happiness by sheer bloodymindedness. That I've got - in spades. I hope it's enough.


Kate said...

Somehow, this year will be better than the last one. 2007 is done and gone.
You have a right to your trepidation, for sure. And to your anxiety. Just know that your friends, both virtual and in person, are rooting for you, and for Sandy, and for 2008 to be really, really good to you.

amanda said...

Happy New Year, Shannon.

I hope 2008 is better than 2007, and I'm sure it will be. So take that deep breath and forget about 07. Regardless, you've got a great family and we blog readers are always here for support!

lizbon said...

You sound an awful lot like a good friend of mine who, in the space of about two years, lost her younger sister in a car accident, her mom to brain cancer, and her husband to divorce. Also, like Father Mulcahy writing to his sister the Sister about living in a state of constant crisis: "The important thing, I guess, is just to keep moving."

knititch said...

i know it. i cannot get much worse than 2007 and bloodymindedness helps i am sure.

have a happy and prosperous year, shannon.

uberstrickenfrau said...

Hmmm, pondering rectal exams would put me into a funk, PDQ. well, all you can do, to quote a well worn chestnut, is walk through today and let tomorrow take care if itself.

Annalea said...

Thanks for the vote of confidence in Chromosome. I'll try to get a coherent pattern typed up soon. (But wish me luck--it's only pattern number three, I think.)

I dropped by to see what your blog was about, since you seemed to have found mine {grin}, and just wanted to add my voice to the encouraging others. Life isn't always like this--it just seems like it when one is in the thick of it.

There are times when things take all the sheer-bloody-mindedness you can muster; and then there are times when all of your most loved ones are around you, everyone's having a peaceful and happy time, and it turns into a mental photograph that you pull out and cherish for the rest of your days. (Especially during those other times.) I have a couple of those, and they're my most precious mental possessions--yes, even more so than words like erudite. ;o)

Remember to breathe . . . oxygen does wonders for calming an inner child . . . and knitting always helps. ;o)

Penny said...

Oh Shan, I wish I could promise you it would all be OK. But I can't, I don't know how bad each different thing is.

Just take each day as it comes. When you are finding things difficult, think about what you feel in the future, in twenty years time, will you regret what you did/did not do today, or will you feel OK with your actions.

Peace be with you.

mel said...

I wish I could offer some good words of support, but "hang in there" just doesn't seem to cut it, does it? I'm sending warm & positive thoughts to your friend, your family, and to you, I truly hope that 2008 will be better.