Often the end of one year and the start of the next are bittersweet. I get mildly morose and the passage of time is magnified in big, bold letters blinding me to all else. It’s not the celebratory occasion I look forward to the most. I’m not pining for the latest dress, evening bag or shoes. Jewelry I’m always pining for. I love Christmas, but we can skip right to the end of January after that. By then most people are finished wishing one another a Happy New Year’s.
I sound like a grumpy old man. I’m not. A man. Nor grumpy by nature. Except when I’m sleep-deprived, which I kind of am right now.
There are different thoughts floating about in my head this year and my insides feel oddly in line with one another. It’s made me look backward and forward as many are doing in an unusually positive way.
I’ve had many incarnations during my adult life. A ladder-climbing, corporate mucky muck. Following several years on shaky rungs I realized I didn’t like ladders very much because they’re quite unsafe. Plus I much preferred being around for my son when he needed something. Like food and a clean bum. I had the option so I jumped off the ladder. Once he could manage a toilet by himself I joined the ranks of the part-timers in the editorial world. It meant less time away from home, more artsy fartsy speak and fewer suits. By the time the Chiquita came along I was working from home and that rocked.
Then an evil spirit possessed me. 2011 began with me firmly ensconced back in the corporate world. I must have had a very specific form of amnesia and forgotten how much I hated ladders, and office politics, but the memories came flooding back quickly and I was soon plotting my escape.
- Research business idea that came to me watching an episode of Lost – we were behind ✓
- New business plan made ✓
- Website created ✓
- Hunting for clients – never ending process ✓
I jumped ship and realized I don’t suck at swimming.
The decision allows me to be present in my kids’ lives in a way that was physically impossible with others dictating my time. Now I’m around just enough to drive them crazy, which is my obligation. I signed a contract. I can get them to after school sports, do homework with them again, feed them snacks – which usually means making them eat the veggies left over in their lunch bags – and rouse them in the morning. Although I typically need more rousing than they do. Caffeine dependency remember?
There are also morning and afternoon school drives with my 12 year old. Many days are quiet as his nose is buried in a favourite book. Other days we talk. A 12 year old boy bouncing ideas off his mom…like his thoughts on the motivation of the characters in the latest book, an upcoming field trip to an adventure camp, the flex on his new stick, the decibel level of his buddy’s burp in the dressing room. All very highbrow and it’s with his MOM. I don’t take that for granted.
And then there’s the really scary thing I’ve done. This. Jack Straw Lane. It’s me putting thoughts out there and being willing to accept if they’re a complete flop. That nobody reads them. That they stink. Or just maybe it’s me having the cohones to start writing again after so many years of letting my pens run dry. Maybe it’s the impetus I needed to take a look at my aspirations and say, “It’s not too late.”
I’ve wandered with this post, but it’s all to say that as I anticipate the New Year’s Eve family celebration we traditionally have it is with a sense of peace, some trepidation and a whole lot of excitement for the things to come in 2012.
Bonne Année à vous tous / Happy New Year to all