Unless you live under a rock (and you don't have a calendar, because it got burned in the house fire that made it necessary to live under the rock) you're busy celebrating New Year's Eve tonight. You might be doing it with friends and family, playing games and watching movies. You might be doing it quietly, just sitting and thinking about the past year and what's ahead for the new. Some people choose to ignore the event altogether, which is commemorating it in their own way. But tonight, all humanity has one thing in common, regardless of where they live or what they believe: we all wish for change for the new year, for some kind of growth or advancement or improvement on what we have.
New Year's Eve is always a time of introspection for me. I can't help but think of all the goals I set that I didn't accomplish, but I also think about the things I did. I think about who I am as a person, and contemplate the things I could have done better in my relationships, as well as the things I think I did well. Of course, there are always regrets. That's just a part of life - we make mistakes, we learn from them, hopefully, and we do the best we can to make amends for them. Sometimes those amends are easy to make, and sometimes they are painful. Sometimes they can't be made at all, and we just trust that the Savior will step in and smooth everything out in His perfectly just and merciful way.
Sometimes, the goals we set are completely out of our hands. We can't really set a goal that someone else will do something, but we can set a goal to be ready when opportunities arise.
My life took some interesting turns in 2009. I started working full-time from home, and that's been a lot of fun as well as being a challenge in learning how to juggle. I'm still working on that juggling thing, but I have no doubt it will all fall into place. My husband and I are learning to work together more than ever before, and he has cheerfully pitched in with the dishes and the laundry. He's even going to be helping with the home schooling of our four adorable kidlets after the holidays are over. This has been a great opportunity for us to learn more about teamwork and unity.
What do I want for the new year? That's kind of a hard question. I've spent this year planting a lot of seeds, and I hope that in 2010, those seeds will sprout and grow into beautiful plants that will bear fruit for years to come. It's one of those "wait and see" things I detest. I like immediate results. Rarely get 'em, but I like 'em.
What else do I want? Well, of course, I'd love to lose all kinds of weight and become fabulously gorgeous, get out of debt, buy a new house and a new car, and don't forget the new wardrobe to go along with my new body.
Seriously, what I want most is to learn to find joy in the every day, and to teach that to my children. They are at the age where it's fun to criticize each other and to try to feel superior to each other, and a lot of my time is spent encouraging them to look for the good in each other (read: telling them to knock it off.) But then I realize that this kind of teaching can best be done by example, and I wonder, in what ways can I better model the importance of being grateful for the things I have, and how can I better demonstrate my appreciation for the people around me? Sometimes it's hard to find joy in pushing your way past a thousand people at the grocery story in the middle of the afternoon on New Year's Eve, trying not to lose one of your children in the mad press of people all vying for the last bottle of sparkling cider, when you don't want cider, you're only there for bread and milk (and chocolate, of course). It can be very hard to feel joy when your van doesn't start and you have to try three times before the engine turns over, and you wonder how much life is left in the old girl. (The van, not me, although that is a valid question.)
The fact is, life itself is a blessing, regardless of what it brings you. Someone very close to me is fighting cancer right now, and every moment of life that remains is cherished and appreciated more than I can say. Sometimes I'll call just to hear that person's voice and to assure myself that there's still the opportunity to say "I love you" and to be grateful for every second that remains. I love my children with every speck of my being, even when they're crabby and fighting and they all think it's their job to be "right." We can all make long lists of grievances about our daily struggles, but the fact that we're all here to struggle is a blessing, and we can take joy from that.
I guess you've noticed I tend to ramble when I get introspective. Thanks for listening; I know it sometimes takes me a while to get to my point. The point tonight is this: let the new year bring what it may. Joy, sorrow, pain, disappointment, moments where I'm so full of happiness, I think I'll burst. I'll take it all because I know that every moment of it is a blessing. Every trial will make me stronger, every pain-filled moment will make the joy that much greater. My only hope is that I'll rise to the challenge and see the joy in everything, regardless of what that "everything" entails.
Happy New Year, and may you get everything your heart desires in 2010.