This last year jittered on the edge of a big bang that fizzled just as surely as the predicted computer apocalypse of 1999. I never believed the whole end of the world portents and fear because I knew that the end of the Mayan calendar was the beginning of a new age and a new calendar. The Mayans were entrenched in the practice of planned obsolescence. Their calendars lasted for an entire age and, as Xmas is over and the last days of 2012 tick to the end of another year, I am poised for possibilities.
I don't do new year's resolutions because they always amount to the same thing: lose weight, publish more books, become a wealthy and famous author whose name is on the tongues of billions, and write the kind of books that will become -- and remain -- classics. The only one in that list of wants that has any chance of happening is publishing more books. I have 3, and possibly 4, books poised to be published in 2013, one of which was postponed from this year due to death, too much working for a paycheck, and loss of steam. Losing my 2-year-old grandson Connor took the wind out of my sails and it has taken a long time to find the energy and the will to keep going. Sending my son David Scott the stocking I cross stitched for Connor helped a lot. It was closing the last page on a very long book that ended on a sad but hopeful note.
That is where I am right now, poised on a hopeful note as I look forward to 5 days off after working every holiday this year, including Xmas.
The political horizon gives me no hope since the same greedy oligarchs are still in power and moving on with their plans to demoralize, diminish, and destroy the United States of America in the name of greed and ephemeral power. There is little hope on the economic horizon even with the price of gas below $3.00 for the first time in years. And there is even less hope on the war front in spite of more and more soldiers coming home from Afghanistan and the black wars that few of us know about.
If I smoked pot, which I do very rarely (twice in the past 15 years), I could look forward to buying and smoking at least an ounce of marijuana without being thrown in jail. I could look forward to a year without another death in my family, although, considering the past 5 years, I doubt that is realistic. I could look forward to just about anything, but I will hang onto what I know for sure.
The mild winter here in Colorado took a nose dive with a real white Xmas and Xmas snow. That was enough to put a smile on my face and to give me hope for the future when everything out in the real world has been nothing if not daunting. This being my last work day of 2012 also helps broaden the smile and I heave a sigh of relief that I will be able to stop racing against the clock and fretting that I don't have enough time to get settled into the work mode for another night shift. I have 5 days, 2 of them weekend days, to relax and let this year settle, much like a heavy dinner.
My grandson is still gone, and so is my mother, appropriately on Friday the 13th last January, but I have plans. Last year was filled with preparation for this Xmas. I bought the materials and stitched my way through 7 Xmas stockings, a few ornaments for the kiddies, and gathering together the gifts that would go with the stockings (which were a hit by the way). I was surprised that my oldest grandson, Jordan, actually wants a stocking. I didn't make one for him since he's a teenager. I guess my friend Mary Ann was right and kids never outgrow wanting a stocking to hang on the mantel with care even when the hope of St. Nicholas has given way to teenage pragmatism and the belief in Old St. Nick has waned. There is always room for a stocking no matter the age.
I need a new project, or at least a good idea for next year, since this year is going to be hard to top, hence the books. I have let 3 books languish over the past months of this year and it's time to take up my pen, poise my fingers over the keyboard, and get down to business. I'll never become a wealthy and famous author unless I get back to basics: reading, writing, and more writing -- not to mention editing. The book covers are done. All I need to do is fill the pages that go between the covers, and I can do that. That magical Xmas snow helped put me in the right frame of mind.
There are other plans afoot for 2013. I have to convince Beanie to bring her boys with her and spend Xmas out here in Colorado with me. I want to share an old-fashioned Xmas with my family. I might even invite my boys and their kids -- as long as they understand they won't be able to stay here with me since space is limited. I'd need a much bigger house to host 9 grandchildren, 3 sons and their wives/girlfriend, Beanie and her 2 boys, and maybe her fiance's 2 boys and the fiance, not to mention my granddaughter Sierra's maternal grandparents, since I'm sure they would not want to be left out. Too bad I'm not wealthy already because I could rent one of the big cottages out at the Broadview or maybe a big modern cabin up in the mountains at Tabernash. Now that would be perfect, and another reason for me to get on the ball and finish more books.
That glistening carpet of white beneath the winter sun on Xmas day flashed with emerald, ruby, and diamond lights and the whole neighborhood was hushed. The only mark in the snow was where Santa's sleigh drove through the parking lot that surrounds my cottage (flying reindeer don't leave tracks) and stopped in front of my house. Even though I had to work Xmas day, the time went by quickly and visions of Xmas future grew in my head. I have work to do -- a lot of it -- and I'm ready for whatever challenge 2013 brings. Plans are being roughed out and will be filled in as the new year progresses and next Xmas will be better than this one, especially if there will be Xmas snow.
Whatever you plan for the next year, or even for tomorrow, be ready for hurdles and detours and meet them with hope and a smile. Hope and smiles can cut through the toughest times, especially when the end is a year of family -- and so much more.
Happy New Year. I'm ready for 2013 now.