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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

back to our normal programming

Happy New Year, boys and girls!

As my close personal friends may know, New Years Eve and I do not get along. I have had many crappy ones in the course of my life from the truly horrible (the one with the vicious family argument, the one with the stroke of midnight in the ED when my stoned future ex-husband managed to put some glass through his hand, the one spent drinking alone and crying and entertaining some mild suicidal ideation) to the only-funny-in-retrospect (the year our Chinese food delivery took five hours to arrive with phone calls from the restaurant every 45 mins promising that it was really on its way this time so our hopes kept being raised and dashed, my senior year in high school when I had a little too much fun and woke up the next morning at 6 am for my nursing home housekeeping job still buzzed after 3 hours sleep and proceeded to spend the next 8 hours throwing up into every fourth toilet I cleaned) to the merely banal (freezing my arse off at First Night with a cranky kid or kids who could have really given a fuck about the ice sculptures and puppet shows, freezing my arse off at First Night with adults who thought it was perfectly reasonable to stand around in 15 degree weather waiting for some damn fireworks). At some point in the last several years, I faced the fact that New Years Eve is not for me. Since then, I have treated it like any other night, albeit one with a Twilight Zone marathon on the SyFy channel. This way happiness lies.

It occurred to me this morning, however, that long before I learned to hate New Years Eve, I actually hated January 1st. When I was just a kid, New Years meant vacation was over and the return to school was imminent. And because we only had maybe six tv channels then, all that was on tv was bowl games. Since I had even less interest in college football when I was a little girl than I do now (less than zero? hmmm) this meant I didn't even have anything to distract me. New Years Day meant boredom, anxiety, and sadness.

As an adult, none of that applies. Oh, January 1 still means the holidays are coming to a close and there's a certain sadness to that in a way: at least here in The Land of Crappy Weather, the beginning of January means at least a couple of months ahead of cold, snow, ice, freezing drizzle, and darkness without the distraction of celebrations, sparkly decorations, and people giving you prezzies. It means the slog of winter is upon us. But it also means the psychological promise of a fresh start, a blank slate. There's a sense of hope. This is gonna be the year I'll [lose weight, learn French, start running, get the finances in order, make the bed every day, insert resolution here].  Of course most of those resolutions fall by the wayside sometime before mid-February, but on January the First they all seem so promising. Everything seems to hold just a little bit of promise, bitter experience not withstanding.

This is why I ordered a bunch of stuff from the Container Store. This is why the front desk of the Y has been clogged with people signing up for new memberships for the last week or ten days. (Oh sweet baby Jesus, I just want to get swiped in and obtain a locker key. It shouldn't take 4 minutes and 17 seconds.) We all have a wee smidgen of hope and a big pile of soon-to-run-out determination that this year we'll kick ass and take names. Hey! It could happen.

If you need me, I'll be inside a kitchen cabinet putting my pot lids in order.  Probably best to avoid the gym for a day or two while the newbies are learning not to walk too close to the squat rack.


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