When I was younger, New Year’s Eve meant the welcoming of a newer, brighter, more hopeful next step. We were all moving forward into a brighter day, where all of the errors of the past could be erased and the dawning of a new spring was just ahead of us.
I remember one New Year’s Eve celebration with friends, where one of us jumped up on a table at midnight, glass of wine in hand, and shouted, “This is the year when I get MARRIED!!!” The whole bar cheered, and we all laughed and danced and jumped up and down.
It feels like yesterday.
That friend is now a grandmother of two, with another on the way. She’s still married to that fabulous guy she was dancing with on that long ago eve.
And I feel as if no time at all has passed. And I feel like that night was a thousand years ago.
Now we stand on the brink of another New Year.
Now I am more practical, more measured, more prosaic as I mark the unstoppable march of time.
Goodbye, 2017. You were a year. You had your wonderful glories, like the birth of our sweet little Johnny. And the celebration of our sons falling in love. And the wonderful summer weather.
But you were a regular year, so you had your awful moments, too. Like the loss of a young friend by his own hand. And the death of our sweet old Tucker.
You were a year of fear for a lot of us, as we saw our country fall under the control of a man who most of us think is a dangerous despot. We found ourselves revisiting our fears of nuclear war. And discovering new fears of a vulnerable power grid and cyber war.
You were a year of shock. But you were also the year of our renewed strength, as so many of us marched to voice our outrage. I ushered you in with millions of other resistors around the country, and I will usher you out with my resolve unchanged.
2017, you were a year.
I am happy enough to bid you goodbye, although a part of me thinks, “one less year of life for me” as I wave you out the door.
2018, let’s welcome you in. May your storms be few, your wars be limited, and your memories be sweet.
Another trip around the sun for all of us. Next year, I’m sure, will be another year on planet earth.