Onward and Upward

I love New Year's Day. It's meaningless, I know, a symbolic transition, but really, when you think about it, symbols and rituals are the markers of our lives: birthdays, the turning of the seasons, traditions and memories that pass us gently from one stage of our lives to the next. For me, by the time Christmas rolls around, the year feels tired and worn out, and so do I. New Year's Day gives me a fresh start, a zero point at which I can draw a line and step across. Maybe it's nothing more than a psychological crutch, but I look forward to it every year.

New Year's Eve here was relatively quiet. Being from south Louisiana, we only had to stroll next door for some great food cooked by my neighbor. We sat around, drinking and eating smoked turkey and andouille gumbo while the kids lit sparklers and laughed in the cold, crisp air. We live outside city limits, so such things are allowed. At midnight, we listened and watched as a barrage of explosions and lights lit up the night sky for at least 15 to 20 minutes. When it was over there was only silence, and the cold, clear darkness. I kissed my husband, the love of my life, and hugged my children. I laughed with my sister. It was a good day.

My hopes for the new year are the same as ever - finish the novel, at last; lose that weight that's been creeping up on me for the last ten years. This year, however, I'm adding a new goal - starting grad school. It's something I always assumed I'd do, someday, and now I am old enough to realize that 'someday' is a concept that is rapidly slipping through my fingers. Life is to be lived, carpe diem as the dead Romans say. Memento Mori. Make 2010 a year in which you do something, instead of a year in which things are done to you. Be alive.

Here's to new beginnings.

02 January 2010


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