Striking Midnight

They say that whatever you are doing when the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, is how you will be spending the next year.

While I am not sure who exactly “they” are, I have been following this adage for years. It has given me permission to make sure that I am doing what really matters to me at the end of every year, and at the beginning of each new one.

Once, that meant calling the fiancé that I had broken things off with, and meeting up with him on December 31st, when I hadn’t spoken to him in just over 100 days. Two midnights have passed, with me, on the couch, too angry and proud to walk up the stairs and put an end to the fighting with the man I married. Other  years, midnight has found me, tired, bleary, and trying with all of my heart to calm a crying baby, still surprised by how much you can love another human.

Interspersed years, and subsequent years, have been filled with friends, parties, fireworks, great conversations interrupted just for a moment to kiss, and children’s eyes filled with wonder. Wonder, that they have actually stayed awake to see not only a new day, but a new year, and that somehow their mother has decided it would be fine for them to make marching band equipment from her new Rachael Ray pots and pans.

Midnight has found me, noisy, and quiet, resolute in my wrongdoing, but also in doing what is right. Its arrival has been counted down, anticipated, and once, slept through, as it quietly tiptoed past.

Just as they said, the years that followed have been filled to their brim with laughter and tears, kissing and dancing, and trying to calm unseen hurts and late night fears. Our lives have echoed loudly with joy, unexpectedly, over and over again. There have been hugs and hand holding, a dizzying amount of potty-training, and love. Always love.

This year, I had just finished watching Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World, with my sister on Netflix. My children were all sleeping safely in bed. I had ten minutes after the movie to brush my teeth and run up the stairs, where I woke my husband for our new year’s kiss. We started the year by saying what matters, that we love each other, that we are committed to each other, that there is no other, and other things that are just for us.

I fell asleep thinking about the movie, and also about clean slates. I’m so grateful for a new year. I need a fresh start. I don’t know about you, but so much of last year was hard. This fall, well, it felt like one. And I must have scraped my knees, because I have been standing for a long time, and I still feel a little weak.

But yesterday,  was magical. It was a day of cuddling and rest. We ate great food and spent time together. We laughed, and just enjoyed this life that we have chosen. We embraced each other, and shared our hopes for the year ahead. There were no surgeries or sickness, no homework or stress, just my family, together. It was, absolutely, without question, the best.

I know that this year will have its own ups and downs. I know that I won’t have all of the answers to the questions that will be asked. But I know that there will be mercy and grace, just waiting to catch me, like netting under a flying trapeze. I know that there is hope, and that most people are good. The sun will shine again, the air will warm. I’m going to do my best this year, and let other people’s bests be enough. So far, I couldn’t ask for this year to be off to a better start.

I don’t do New Year Resolutions, but I do have a wish. May each midnight find you, where you want to be. May your truth shine like a clear morning, with what you want to see. May your family be healthy, and may all that you do, accomplish only good things, then come back to you. May this year find, your hope has come back again, and may we all be smiling, when it comes to an end.

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