Generally, I don’t have much affection for New Year’s Eve. I think it’s an overrated, hyped-up holiday. I usually don’t do much on this night, other than maybe pour myself some champagne at the stroke of midnight and then go to bed. However, this year, New Year’s is different. That’s because I am happy to see 2011 go. I am starting off 2012 doing something different. I am setting up my karma for a good year. I hope.
2011 was not a banner year for me. Wait, that’s a drastic understatement. 2011 sucked. I think just generally a lot of stuff in my life accumulated and overwhelmed me. Probably the biggest challenge this year, was losing my grandmother and the months leading up to her death. There were blessings in being able to care for her, but there were a lot of stresses too, including watching the toll it took on my mother. It wasn’t my grandmother’s failing health alone that was difficult. In the first few months of 2011, Juan and I spent days at three different Kaiser hospitals, and spent regular nights at urgent care for our kids.
This year also brought a change to our living arrangements. Over the summer Olivia began living with us full time and since October, Erica has been staying with her mom more often. I will spare you the details, but I am sure you can imagine that the circumstances leading up to the changed living arrangements were not pleasant. Something about teenagers and parent/child conflicts contributing to family tension. Add the unique challenges of living in a blended family and our home was not the sanctuary for me that it has been in the past. We are working on changing that, and I hope that our shared custody living arrangements will resume in 2012.
Looking back on this year, there were other events which contributed to the malaise of 2011. Diego had a difficult time in school, I spent over three months studying for that damn exam, and I experienced more than a few challenges parenting teens in a blended family. I intended for 2011 to be a year of compassion for me, but I don’t think I was too successful with that. I don’t like resolutions so I don’t make them, besides I have enough to do on my list of 50 Things I want to Do Before My 50th Birthday.
I want 2012 to be a better year for me and my family. Last year I approached the beginning of 2011 differently. I was in a funk. As is typical for me I didn’t do anything too special to end the previous year and didn’t really celebrate welcoming in the New Year. So, I am approaching 2012 with my heart, mind and arms wide open. Tonight, Juan and I are going to a special New Year’s service at our church, then we are heading out to enjoy a nice dinner. Tomorrow, we are hosting an open house for anyone who wants to drop by and I am serving all kinds of New Year’s good luck foods. I can’t help to hedge my bets a little.
Happy New Year. Hello 2012!
What about you? Are you happy to start a New Year? How do you celebrate?