Second year-end, same as the first

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Vendredi soir, c'est le départ, by Steve Grosbois on Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons

So much bad and so much good, all rolled into one year. It’s not easy to take it all in. Good news! I won’t subject you to another year-end wrap-up or top ten blog posts or even take a photo of my dinner. No selfie today. No long, drawn-out meditation on mortality and how much more I may know about it than you do. Boooooring!

We’re going to party hunker down festively with my parents tonight. I’m happy to be with them, because this is also the day they got married, 54 years ago (in the Southern hemisphere, where it is supposed to be warm this time of year). My dad mentioned he’d found some old photos, so I’m looking forward to seeing them with Young J and Young A, hearing their observations about how things looked in the past.

I’m secretly hoping the kids won’t make it until midnight. I know it’s probably just a phase, but the two of them together these days generate more chaos than I can easily manage – silly noises, playful swipes and slaps which sometimes get not-so-playful, rudeness, mocking… It’s always such a relief to put them to bed and wipe the slate clean. As it will be a relief to send them back to school on Monday. They are perfect children at school, so we hear. Or something close to it, anyway. Perhaps they need to be sent off to boarding school so they can be perfect all the time. (JOKING.) Actually, Young J has just started reading Harry Potter, so he’d probably love to attend a version of Hogwarts.

I’m not resolving to do anything this coming year. There are still things pending from this year, last year, every other year. Also, dieting feels a bit too punitive, when you’ve just come off steroids. I know what I need to do, and I’m looking forward to having time to do it.

This morning in the shower I thought about asking Dr P, the next time I see her, if I’m a dope for not asking lots of questions at every appointment. You know, like, “How’m I doing? Am I going to live another year? Where’s this stuff going to pop up next?” I don’t ask, because I know these questions are unanswerable. I don’t ask, because she doesn’t want to discourage me. I don’t ask, because I go to the cancer center each time ready to greet the medical personnel as friends, and hoping they are not the kind of friends who bring you bad news. Maybe this makes it harder for them, that I think of them as friends. Maybe this makes it easier for me.

Last night, as we got ready for our trip today, I decided – okay, resolved – that I would not be greeting 2016 with the hoarder-style pile of papers and cards next to my bed which has been there for weeks. The past few days I was looking at it and the word “harborage” kept coming to mind, as in pests. Ugh.

So, even though it kept me up late, I sorted everything, mercilessly recycled many birthday & anniversary cards (except the ones J has given me), sentimentally perused the Mother’s Day ones, and wound up seeing the bare floor again for the first time in ages. I had gotten some cardboard storage boxes and put everything in them. One day, I’ll go through them again and get rid of everything, but not in a Kondo manner. I won’t say thank you or bow. I’ll probably be preparing for a move, and exasperated I kept this much stuff.

This morning when the kids came in, I pointed out to them that The Pile was gone (The Pile was making it hard for them to get near my bed to give me a kiss in the morning without slipping on papers).

Young J murmured something approving. Young A said, “Yes, but I see there are two boxes there now instead. And your laptop, and your laptop case.” (Young A isn’t happy with what you’ve done, apparently. He’s happier showing you what still needs doing. He’s a tough cookie with eagle eyes. Which also makes it hard to get rid of stuff of his without him noticing…)

Happy new year, everyone. I hope to be here same time, next year, issuing another greeting, and again refusing to compile a year of life in list form.

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