It feels as though the new year has been blown in with bad weather and good friends.
It drizzled and mizzled and the wind got up and howled around the houses and down the chimney and made us huddle closer in our blankets and shiver to hear it wuthering. It didn’t matter, though, because somehow the very beginning of the year saw us with full hearts, and that is what mattered.
I saw in the New Year with Husby, Mum and WonderAunty. We had a group hug and shared kisses as fireworks went off on the telly and down the street, and then I stayed indoors to WhatsApp various friends as the first seconds of the new year ticked by, and we sent little celebratory emoticons of excitement and ‘future’ and ‘hope’ and all the things that ‘new’ can encompass.
Then I changed into my Tigger onesie, my violently pink ‘Murica t-shirt from Christine, my sunshiney kick-ass socks from Beth, and snuggled up with Husby, in sleeping bags, in front of an open fire, to watch late night comedy and laugh ourselves to sleep. THEN I felt peace (and back-ache, and a kind of snuggled, warm determination that the achiness was NOT going to move me from my spot by the fire (it didn’t, and I hurt in the morning (well, not the morning, because it was gone midday when I finally came to))). It does one good to be snuggled, in spite of the whatever elses.
Once I surfaced, the afternoon passed with deep chats and exercises and silliness. Then Pintrest and Pride and Prejudice, a staring competition with Husby, and a phonecall with my Dad. Followed by a brief-but-important chat with Kristi, in which lovely things were said. Then Real Life took over and snuggles and firelight ensued, and eventually I decided we should go home and that there was no point changing out of the Tigger onesie to drive – that as it was dark, it wouldn’t matter.
Then we all remembered about the bookshelf we agreed to inherit. Husby and mum spent time dusting it down and getting it in the car, while I did headstands and WonderAunty took photos of me being silly (just to set the tone for the rest of the year). By the time we got going, it was arranged that our friend (who is staying for the weekend) would turn up a day early, as a surprise to all of us (including her) and that spontaneity rocks sometimes.
Getting the bookshelf into the flat was the point at which our neighbours very most definitely saw me in the Tigger onesie (and my DMs and my mad woolly coat and my bear hat…whatevs), and my book tower immediately looked less messy in its new home. Then our friend arrived, laden with edible gifts and a tray of carnivorous plants (which we’re inheriting, as she’s moving home soon and won’t have space for them), and fun, liveliness ensued.
There was food and more deep chats, and in the end I decided to start writing my thankfuls at some ridiculous hour of night (silly, as I’ve work in the morning) but I’ve decided that to a certain extent, life is what it is, and one of the things I am NOT is a good sleeper. Having had hours of the stuff, I feel quite…certainly awake enough to write (as I started this) but perhaps I shall take a leaf from the books of Girlie and Clark, who frequently start something and return to finish it another time.
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‘Another Time’ happens to be after boxing and cooking and chatting to my friend, and waiting for Husby to return home from a day of gaming. After having written my first ‘writing of the new year’ to a friend (not that it’s yet complete). After planking for four minutes and feeling like I was dying at the end of it, but also kind of triumphant (the body is nothing if not something to be conquered). After returning home under a beautiful sunset and thinking about all that light and beauty and a sense of the aesthetic mean to us, as a species. After cycling twice past a (?)man sleeping, tucked entirely under an old quilt, in an underpass, with his possessions gathered around him, and hoping that he’d be alright, and feeling like a heel for not stopping to ask (though without any money on me, there would have been nothing I could have done for him). After waving to my book-swap friend as he sat under his street-lamp, chatting to a pal.
Another Time, in which a thousand worlds could have come and gone. Several billion experiences of the last 12 hours, all so vastly different, and mine amongst them, have passed. Lives have been formed and ended and irrevocably altered. Dreams have been made and shattered. Battles have been lost and won, ancient wisdom has been reiterated and brand new thoughts have been thunk. Now is Another Time, in which I realise my irrelevance and infinite smallness in the grander scheme of things.
And yet…amongst all that smallness, there are people to whom I matter, and that is quite wonderful – that the places where my existence intersects with theirs becomes tangled and coated with glitter, shadows and sunshine – it brings me back from the edges of vast nothingness, into meaning. And so I shall breathe and carry on, knowing that to certain people, I count for something.
Somewhere in there are Ten, or perhaps even more.
Maybe my funny mood is on account of having been Shanghai’d by a book, which looked, at first blush, as though it was going to be a triumph of true love and reconnection after distance between two lovers who ended up in a car accident. Thus far, the couple still aren’t talking, the girl had a nasty miscarriage, and has ended up with anorexia as a way to control the body which betrayed her. Most of me feels like I shouldn’t read the rest because it’s painfully close to the bone. The rest of me wants to make sure she’s okay.
Maybe it’s something else. I could put my finger on it if I really wanted to (but I don’t) and suddenly underwent a disconnect, earlier today. Not a welcome one. And just a feeling, which will pass. For now it’s blowing an Arctic wind through my soul, and I’m tired of it.
I’m going to spend the evening and tomorrow In Real, trying to reconnect my brain with a sense of the Now, rather than the ‘once removed’ kind of feeling I’m experiencing at the moment.
Welcome to the New Year…I shall be looking forward to hearing what kind of time you had, and what things made you thankful.