I am tiptoeing into the new year. No bells or whistles, I let the old year slip out and the new year glide in at midnight and sat quietly with my pugs, knitting and easing my way into this space, a new cloud of moments into days, and now a week since the ball dropped in Times Square, and nothing visible or tangible has changed, and I have not made new year’s resolutions — the bane of the bipolar person, something to lunge toward and fall back out of disappointed in oneself and there’s quite enough of that as the year goes along as it is — no, just a gentle tiptoeing into the year as it turns, one into the other, with ease and grace.
I did, however, choose a *word* for the year as people are doing these days. My word is CALM. This is an important word for me because when my bipolary bits and parts get their knickers in a twist I get all discombobulated and panicky and anxious and can find my innards slamming up against the walls of my being, and this is a terrible state to find myself in. I had one emergency session with my therapist a couple of months ago when this happened and I really don’t want to end up in that shape again. At my last session on the 30th of December she gave me a phrase to use to calm myself with my breathing. It is, “I am calm, centered, present, and at peace.” It is on a post-it note on my computer and I look right at it and repeat it many times a day. This is what I want in 2016, an air of calm around all that I do.
Each day this past week has been a step forward into the new year slowly, and calmly, with velvet moments collecting in the basket I carry through the hours, laying softly against one another as I breathe my way through, picking up my knitting and working several rows on my bamboo needles, my little pugs snuggled up against me snorting and snuffling and snoring and I slide my hand over their silken fur. I go back to my knitting, clickety clack go the needles, bright pink yarn grows in a pile on my lap, and I try to think back over the past year but it has already slipped out of my grasp, as moments do when you stay in the present one and live it fully. I don’t need to do a review of 2015, I only need to center myself in each moment at it comes in 2016. This moment, this one, this one, allowing them to find their place and glide past, a tapestry woven by the hour. 2016 has come in like a lamb and my word *calm* eases its way like a fine oil greasing the wheels. C*A*L*M. An easement for the hours, a glissando for the days.
The holidays are over now but my tree is still up. It’s an artificial one — something I thought I’d never have — and I haven’t put it up because I am enchanted by the blinking lights, alternating between all white, and colored. I know I will have to take it down eventually but I’m in no hurry. It makes my studio feel festive and is full of memories of the wonderful days leading up to Christmas and just after, sitting in here listening to Celtic Woman’s Christmas concert as I wrapped gifts, knitting and writing and finishing the January issue of Pastiche that went out last weekend, the tree sat blinking and smelled lovely from the pine essential oil I sprinkled over it. Now it is a memory tree and the sweetness lingers here even as I move forward through the days of this new year.
I have written in the past about what I called “The Thanksgiving To New Year Holiday Slide” when the days around the holidays were very hard for me because my schedules and routines were all scattered bits here and there with all of the holiday goings on, but this year my therapy has really helped me settle and I took each day as it came and cherished each moment and I had the loveliest Christmas I’ve had in a very long time. And 2 days after Christmas we had the most delightful baby shower for my youngest child, my son Aaron, and his lovely wife Stephanie, and it was something I’d not known existed until now, a “gender reveal” shower. Even the parents didn’t know the sex of the baby. At their last doctor visit before leaving to come home for Christmas the doctor did an ultrasound and discovered the sex of the baby. The new tradition is that he puts it in a sealed envelope which the kids carried home and it was taken to the bakery where the petite fours, with white icing outside, had the color of the baby’s sex inside. We all bit into it at once and everybody squealed on seeing the blue icing inside, “It’s a BOY!” Tears and laughter and such joy in abundance just filled the room and our fourth grandson was announced. It seems our family can’t produce a girl! But boys are just fine and we are all delighted.
So here we go, into the new year, the out of towners have gone home, a new baby boy is on the way, and we are all finding our way into 2016 in our own homes in our own way. Mine will be lived calmly as best I can, and I hope yours is full of peace, I hope this post finds you centered and present in these newly minted moments, and I wish you all the joy a new year can bring. Let’s slip into the hours ahead of us as if slipping into a pool of water, and glide, glide, glide our way through…