Monday, January 02, 2006

New Year, Old Attitude

This past week, I enjoyed the following events:

  • little-to-no time alone with Jete
  • CG's now-famous temper tantrums
  • half a dozen panic attacks
  • an increase in Ethan's seizures
  • opening overdue bills
  • scheduling more doctors appointments
The more things change, the more they stay the same.

I'm not a "New Year's resolutions" kind of girl. I never announce to the general population: "I'm going on a diet!" or "From now on, I'll never do ____." Practices like that are just setting yourself up for failure. I especially don't believe that I should try to be a better person just because it's January. Why wasn't I a better person in December? Why not wait until March to try? The date is arbitrary.

I understand the reasons behind it. People like the clean slate. Throw away that old calendar and start a new one. The year stretches ahead of you, waiting to be filled with good things. At least, there is the hope of good things.

Usually, I'm a glass-half-full kind of girl. I like the idea that each new year - hell, each new day - is a new opportunity. Every moment is ours to mold in this life. Until we know otherwise, there's no reason we can't hold onto the positive side of things. At work, I'm famous for my motto "Anything is possible."

But this past week, I'm not seeing the fresh, new opportunities. Maybe it's the hormones. Maybe I'm just in a funk. But two days in, and this New Year looks the same as the old. And that makes me sad.

In general, the second half of 2005 was pretty good. Things were stable in my life, work was fine, the kids were healthy. But it was still a rough year. The four months that were eaten up by Ethan's surgery were a big part of that. But there were other things that just wore me out. That I never had a single vacation. That, in fact, all of my vacation time was used up by the first day of June. That Ethan's seizures got more and more out of control. That, to deal with them, we have more specialists and hospitalizations to look forward to. That CG is in that needy toddler phase, and I never feel like I'm handling it properly. That I just never feel in balance.

Plus, there's another Big Project going on in our lives. I can't really talk about here, other than to say it should be a positive thing. But it is going to be a lot of stress and hard work, and many years before it is over. This past month, we finally felt like the Big Project was moving forward. But I wasn't prepared for the emotional toll it would cause. Just looking at that long road ahead makes me want to take a nap.

Right now, the new calendar isn't bringing me any hope. The next two months are already booked with appointments, four requiring days off work and trips to Boston. I know my vacation time is going to be gone in a few months, just like last year. I know Ethan's going to have at least one surgery this year. And he'll have more problems with his seizures. And I'll have more problems with the insurance company. The new year doesn't change any of that.

Lately, I feel tired all the time. I know I should be eating better, and making time to exercise, and I know it's affecting my mood. I know my panic attacks are related to that, and to the darkness, and snow, and cold, and all the damn hibernation a New England winter requires.

Winter was a magical time when I was a child. But without the prospect of Snow Days or Santa coming, it just doesn't hold the same allure. The only hope I can cling to is Spring. I feel it from time to time, just off on the horizon. We had a slight warmup this weekend, and I could've sworn it was just weeks away. And seeing how fast time passes now that I'm OLD, I know it will be here soon.

For me, the real New Year will begin when Spring returns. I can open the windows again. Put on Abbey Road and turn it up. Loud. Clean out the cobwebs. Get in the car with Jete and just drive. Head somewhere new for the night, or a weekend. Sleep in late. Come back really refreshed.

Maybe 2006 holds some of that for me. Just thinking about Spring makes me feel a little better. I guess that means I haven't given up all hope.

It's a new day. Anything is possible.

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