Happy New Year!
I know. We are almost halfway through month one, and I am only just now wishing you a happy year.
I love a new year. You know this, if you’ve ever read a Serenity Now December/January blog post. I jump all in with the whole new year vibe. Hype is not a thing for which I feel too smart or too cool in any way. (Except with The Northface. I have a thing, sort of an ongoing dare more than anything, but a thing about how expensive those coats are. And everyone wearing them. I think we are beginning to look like the conformist, uniformed societies we create in post-apocalyptic movies. And so far, I have not succumbed.)
Despite this all-in approach, so far my theories and good feelings about the new year lie in shambles around me. The new year has thus far been more like a mac truck and myself the roadkill. I have been too busy, been late for things, failed to show up at all. I wasn’t able to have my journal/reflect-y time until four days in. I sabotaged one of my “resolutions” on my first shopping trip. (“I’m going to read more fiction this year,” I told myself, and then proceeded to fill my to-read pile with no fewer than four nonfiction titles.)
I blame this: We moved houses on DAY ONE of what I am certain will otherwise be a beautiful, rewarding year. Day one. And not to the home, the one being built right now (pictured above with at least some windows and drywall), but to another rental since the last one sold. I super hate moving, except in the ethereal “woo hoo! I love change and simplifying!” way. But when it comes to the actual process, who doesn’t super hate it? And you know how you can’t find anything for, like, a week? Well, yeah, that. I feel all jumbled up and totally missing from the awesome happiness of new year time. Except for these few things…
I’ve read two so far, about usual or maybe a little slacky for me as far as Januaries are concerned. But I loved them both, and I will blog about them later.
My darling Jake is ten, which means I am ten years and nine months past the worst news of my life: you have cancer. From the beginning, I hoped for as little as I dared – to birth him, to live until he smiled, could I maybe make it to the talking years? Can I have every minute until he goes to school? If I could just make it through until he’s old enough to remember me…, etc. Now, I don’t bargain. I’m just deeply grateful and full of hope and crazy happy. Yep, they grow up so fast. But I can’t be sad he’s ten, because I’m so crazy glad I’m here to see it.
Last year I began with the awesome plan to Face The Page. Every day I would open my computer and face my unfinished manuscript whether I had the energy or not. Just face it. I don’t want to see the actual stats, but I did okay on this goal. It’s not the goal’s fault that I switched manuscripts halfway through the year and then switched back several months after that. Therefore, facing the page didn’t really leave me with a finished book. I needed a better plan. I asked my mom how she finished her published novel Thirty Days to Glory. She said early morning, and I put my fingers in my ears and la-la-la’d, because ew. I can barely drag myself out of bed in time for the day job. Then I took my fingers out of my ears and said, What do you mean exactly? And she said she would get up only early enough to get fully ready to walk out the door and still have twenty minutes to write. That’s it. I did the math and realized that was totally doable for me. The steamrolling of 2016 upon my life and sanity has not thus far interfered with this new goal. I think Mom’s onto something.
And the Golden Globes.
Ah, awards season, when I get the television for hours at a time just to focus on movies and see movie people, to learn which movies I was supposed to have seen and which roles are going down in history, to google Sean Penn and film-companies-paying-for-votes (because I don’t get all the jokes), and to see which dresses I will pin to my Red Carpet Pinterest board, which movies I will try to consume before February 29, and whether Leo will finally get his Oscar.
Last night these hours were for The Golden Globes. I think Ricky Gervais is the most entertaining person I have ever disagreed with about pretty much everything he says. I hate mean, but I really like him. It’s an anomaly. I have actually seen one of the winning movies last night, Joy, which I loved and for which I was perfectly happy Jennifer Lawrence got yet another award. (I saw the movie in a downtown Kansas City theater, pictured above.) I love Denzel so much, and he was the recipient of the biggie, the Cecil B. Demille. (He was surprisingly inarticulate, but he had his entire family with him onstage and I think that makes fancy speeches about your art seem sort of less compelling.)
A few hours with the art of storytelling on film capped nicely, I think, the first eleven days of 2016. They were sort of messy days, but they were speckled with happy, like these books and birthdays and twenty minutes and golden movie awards. I think I feel my feet beneath me again and all my new year philosophy renewed. I’m totally ridiculous that way, standing fast to the belief that all things can any minute be made new and truly begin again.