(If I whisper, maybe people won’t notice?)
The girl woke up burning hot on the 24th. The boy followed on the 28th. I never got the fever or the flu for real, but a cold was still about to kill me during the days between Christmas and New Year. As I lived through the last days of 2012 I couldn’t help but feel that it was as if destiny was screaming at me: “You want peace? You want a nice family holiday? You want time to write an application? This is what life has in store for you. Take it or leave it!”
2012 was a rocky year. It wasn’t all bad, big parts of it were great. GREAT. But in the end the mixed emotions and the worrying about things was all I could remember, all there was. Every single day. It was as if the struggle was no longer to keep my head above water, but to catch a glimpse of light from under the surface.
On New Year’s Eve the boy still had a fever. We were meant to go to my brother’s house and the “responsible parent” in us felt that we ought to cancel. In the end we went. We needed to get out, to have the girl play with her cousins, to drink some wine and a glass or two of pink champagne (champagne, the real thing, not sparkly, but champagne!), to eat some great food and be within some other four walls than our own. That evening the boy didn’t have a fever.
I was meant to write an application between Christmas and New Year. J was going to look after the children and I could get some hours at a local cafe writing my ass off to show them my best. Well, well, lovely dream, but no making it come true. Instead I have been stealing hours here and there during the first days of January to try to write something, and I thank my mother for taking the boy three hours yesterday so I could write and write and nothing but write. Come Monday they will get an application and it may not show me at my best, it may not win the Nobel Price for Applications (if there was such a thing), but it will be the best possible product I can produce within the life that I live.
For a while I have been thinking that 2013 was just around the corner. As usually I had great plans and hopes and dreams and as the year came closer, I got scared. Autumn wasn’t fun and come December I had decided that the “no fun” would jump into the new year along with me.
On the 30th of December I spoke to my dad. We laughed at how your hopes and dreams for the new year are never as pure and dreamy as on the last two days of the old year. “Yes, and in the end you learn that the new year is just like the old one,” my dad said. “It’s both good and bad.”
The ball dropped when he said that. “It’s both good and bad”.
I grew up when he said that. When I was younger, years were always going to be great. You’d travel exciting places, finish a degree or throw the party of a lifetime. When I was younger, years were careless and wonderful. Then I got my first job, bought an apartment, married, had two kids. It’s not that I can’t change the direction my life is going in, it’s that changing it is way more (WAY MORE) difficult than it was back when it was just me, back when it was just J and I.
So 2013 is going to be a good year. And 2013 is going to be a bad year. But 2013 is the first year I have entered with this knowledge written on the back of my hand so that I will never forget that chasing a “great year” is difficult, bound to make me sad, but that chasing the good things, appreciating the good things, seeing 2013 not as a whole, but as a lot of different pieces to a puzzle will – at least I hope so – all in all make it a great year to look back on in 12 months time.
Happy New Year.