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ŠJanuary 2002

Carol Jane Remsburg



Bridging into the New Year





Why is it that when the calendar brings on a new year I am not excited? 


Why is this difficult for me?


Am I afraid?


Well, not exactly afraid or worried that the years are catching up to me, but there's something about making the leap from the old to the new that I struggle with.  Rather it's a myriad of unnamed and intangible things.  As this IS the first day of the New Year of 2002 perhaps it's time to explore just why that is. 


I enjoy most holidays, the ones I count, like the 4th of July, Halloween, Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, but where does New Year's fit in to the equation.  'Throwing the old year out and ringing the New Year in . . .' are lyrics to an old song that have been running around in my head since last night.  I didn't want them there. 


Okay, so I've always been stodgy and resistant to change even though I'm as susceptible to glitter and flash as the next person.  I like my old, reliable ways even though I'll fiddle and update and tweak my computer to do new things.  Seems much a paradox to me.  So what exactly is it about the New Year?


Is it too new and fresh?  Is it the clean slate I want that I'm not particularly ready for?  Or is it the mourning of missed opportunities to have accomplished something either of worth or of fluff before time ran out?


Actually I think it's the last one most of all. 


I have one sister who tells me that I live in the past too much.  Of course she's right because I do and that bugs me because while I don't exactly want to live in the past, I don't want to forget it either.  It's as if I don't keep my touchstones about me that I'll lose them.  There they would be tucked away in the back corner in the bureau of the spare bedroom no one uses collecting dust.  Then, without realizing it, one day I'd whirlwind through that room in a cleaning frenzy and out would go; the gems along with the dust. 


But what about those 'what ifs?'


What didn't I do that I should have?


Did I spend enough real time or even fantasy time with Erin?  Does she know how much I really love her?  Naw!  If she did it would scare the hell out of her.  But did I play with her enough?  Did I find a balance between work and play?  Did I spend enough time with my husband?  How about myself?  Did I accomplish any real goals or were we all just going through the motions while time slipped by?


Why do I always disappoint myself?  Why can't I live up to the ideals I had when I was fifteen?  Why is it so important?


Why do I have to ask so many damned awful, stupid questions of myself?


Why does this sound like whining?  Because that's what it is!


The more I've thought about it the more that I believe my idea of New Year's is a full examination of my faults and not any accomplishments.  Believe me when I tell you that I can find fault with anything very well.  It's one of my biggest downfalls. 


So what about the pluses? 


I'm still married and made the twenty-year mark and hubby still seems happy.  My daughter is healthy and happy and busy all the time.  We have a home and I have a job.  I make sure that I learn something new at least once a week or twice a month. 


I am still breathing. 


Trying to be perfect is a hazard.  No, that's not right either; it's not a hazard but a self-formulated recipe for failure.  That is why when a year ends I don't want to look back or take stock or even envision the next year.  Perhaps this year, 2002, is the year I ascribe to just being me.  This year, just perhaps, I'll 'accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative, latching on the affirmative, and don't mess with Mr. In-Between.' 


For all those out there that are promising themselves that they'll lose 20 pounds (like I ought to), quit smoking, turn over a new leaf in the whatever-personal-department-of-your-choice category, go for it.  Me, I'm taking this year officially "off."  I'm going to home in on what's good and not what's bad.  I'm going to be happy with myself.  Maybe next New Year's I'll have a reason to watch the ball drop and celebrate.



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