This is part of a journal entry from Jan 2, 2014, only 40 days after Rod’s death. It was surreal. Everything was upside down; there was nothing to get back to. It's like I was on a roller coaster with no control over anything as it sped me from a steep drop to the next hairpin turn.
My journal entry goes on to say how things will seem to go back to 'normal':
Our daughter will go back to college and I’ll go back to work.
This ‘different sameness’ set me on a tenuous relationship with Time in general, and New Year’s Day in particular. That day became the face of Time for me.
And this is what I had to say to it as 2015 arrived:
Time is cruel, uncompassionate.
It just keeps ticking, moving on, second by second, rhythmic, unchanging.
It doesn’t slow down. Can it just give me a minute?
No. It takes minutes.
Time was like a steam-roller, continuing to push me farther and farther away from life as I knew it, bullying me into yet another year that Rod would never see.
Twenty-sixteen showed up on the doorstep right on cue (and like a bad penny) to announce once again that Rod’s still gone.
Why is January 1st a better (or worse) time to pursue new opportunities than the 1st of any other month? Or any day of any other month, for that matter?
If I need to make a change, can’t I just do it now? What is it about January 1 that makes it a more appropriate time to make changes than any other day?
If I need to make a change in my life or my habits, why must I wait until Jan 1? Is Feb 6 too late? What about July 17? And if I’m not ready until July 17, does that mean I have to wait until the next Jan 1?
It’s just a day on the calendar, people. Stop telling me what I need to do - or not do - starting tomorrow!
But then I had a thought … what if this cruel task-master is trying to move me closer to our spiritual reunion rather than pushing me away from his physical presence? Hmm ….
Time seemed indifferent as it showed up wearing its 2017 sash.
Or perhaps I had become indifferent to Time.
Perhaps if I ignored it, it would go away.
Apparently that strategy worked as I have no further journal entries on or about New Year’s Day. None.
I am not only a life-long journaler, but I love planners. Not the electronic kind, either, but the spiral bound planners (so I can tuck a pen or pencil in its coils) with the whole month on a two-page spread followed by weekly pages for notes and to record details of each day. I kept some sort of calendar even while Time and I didn’t see eye to eye, but it was strictly utilitarian.
As usual, I got my plain utilitarian planner for 2020. But I decided that it could stand to have some Happy infused into it. So I got out my stickers and colored paper (from my scrapbooking days), and I went to town. I even bought a special sticker for no other reason than to dress up that hot pink cover.
As I created a magical portal open to all the opportunities 2020 might hold (ironic, I know), I wondered how I got from my Bah Humbugs to infusing happiness. To be honest, I really didn't have an answer. But I went with it.
Twenty twenty-one arrived quietly, partially because of the pandemic we were still in, but also because the 1st of January has become another day just like any other for me. Aside from our annual family brunch (which we sadly missed that year) and my new planner, it’s just a regular day.
But it’s in the regular days where life is lived, isn’t it?
Tomorrow is not promised, but we have today.
Choose love today.
Choose kindness today.
Choose forgiveness today.
Find joy today.
Be grateful today.
Be present today.
Happy New Day.
Moving forward, not moving on.