Friday, December 31, 2010

Farewell to 2010

The Writer's Almanac for today offers a number of New Year's Eve quotations from Tennyson, Twain, and others. This is the one that struck me, from Bill Vaughan: “An optimist stays up until midnight to see the New Year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.”

I have to admit that I'm falling into the pessimist category right this minute, though I don't plan to stay up until midnight, but will instead bid farewell to the old year at a more reasonable 8:30. But I do want to send 2010 on its way. It was so hard and so heart-breaking. I want a new year that is easy and heart-healing. Okay, I can't expect any year to be easy. But I can ask for heart-healing, I really think I can.

Still, poor 2010 deserves some loving tribute, too. In my special little notebook, I closed out the year this morning with a review of my achievements and accomplishments and major joys for the year, and sure enough, it filled a full page, which is all I had left in my notebook to allot to it. Here are just a few: I got a literary agent, for the first time in my career; I wrote four books, and I loved writing them; Makeovers by Marcia won an award in France, in its French incarnation, Marcia Vous Maquille - how cool is that?; I taught a totally fun new course, Philosophy through Literature; Gregory got heaps of graduation awards and won a full-tuition scholarship to the College of Music at CU to study jazz saxophone; Christopher found a full-time job that he loves, at Boulder Toyota; and even the farewells to my mother and Grandpa, who had both lived such full and rich lives, were in their way beautiful and satisfying. I was surprised when I started writing all of this down to find that the old year hadn't been a total bust, at all. I mean, what do I expect? Glorious happiness from dawn to dusk every single day?

Still, my heart has holes in it, big Swiss cheesy holes. Holes where my mother used to be, where Grandpa used to be, where my marriage used to be, where certain hopes and dreams used to be. These holes fill up with hurt in the evenings, throbbing, aching hurt. And then in the morning, I wake up, and the day is full of promise again. Tomorrow 2011 will begin, full of promise that this year I will run faster, stretch out my arms farther. Maybe even fill up some of those holes in my heart. And one fine morning . . .

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