The end of 2016 started to remind me of kilometer 36 of a marathon. I was pained and weary, yet it was too early to get excited about the beer waiting at the finish line.
I believe that no matter what the calendar says, a person can always make a fresh start. It just seems that when we have a new year stretching in front of us, it’s clean and unsoiled–full of potential. It doesn’t have the scuff marks and broken wheels of last year’s misdirected piece of baggage.
For me, I think resolution is too strong a word. I prefer “adaptation.” It seems more permanent somehow–not just an all or nothing scenario.
For many, the world seems like a frightening place at the moment. And despite the negativity and (often) helplessness people are voicing, for my family, this seems like it’s going to be a damn good year. I feel a return of the positive spirit that was ground out of me last year.
So my “adaptation” is to celebrate.
Reason #1 to celebrate: my visa was renewed for two years.
If you’ve ever dealt with visa renewal (typically an annual process that makes you feel like you’ve been dunked under water for a month); then you’ll understand that having a two year permit allows me to breathe a little. I can make contracts for cell phones. I can get better health insurance. It means that next Christmas I won’t have to worry about deportation (yes…our visas expire just after Christmas–very festive).
Reason #2 to celebrate: my oldest son!
If you’ve followed my blog, then you’ll know that just over 2 years ago, my oldest son left for Guatemala, and I had no idea when I would see him again. He was back to visit this fall, but the news that makes my Mama-heart leap out of its chest is that he was accepted into a university in the UK, which means he’ll be within driving/train ride distance.
But it’s more than the proximity that makes me happy. When you see your (mostly) unschooled child not only get accepted into a university but into a school where he can become qualified for his dream job (where 95 % of grads find employment, many animating for Disney or Pixar, for example), it definitely makes you want to break out the champagne.
Reason #3: I have too many reasons
Love, life, kids, health, writing, my apartment, a job prospect…
I could go on and on….
My life is far from perfect. I worry about my little dog who’s ten years old and ill. Politics and inequality make my blood boil. I find labrador hair in weird places in my house, even after I vacuum. Sometimes I don’t know how I’m going to help support my kids in college (I’ll have 2 enrolled this year). When it’s cold out, my car sounds like it’s dying (every time the motor starts I feel like I won the lottery).
…one adaptation I’m making in 2017 is to focus on the celebrations. To find one good reason every day to toss confetti into the often hazy air of my life.
This is why, despite all the turmoil on the world stage, and sometimes in my own living room, 2017 is going to be great.
There is always something to celebrate.