It’s been a few weeks, so I’m going way out on a limb and declaring 2018 is in the books. I’m tempted to say good riddance but I won’t. Despite the struggles, it wasn’t the worst year I’ve had in a while. Also, I’m a tad superstitious, no need to tempt the fates this early in the year.
The annual tides-willing transitioning labyrinth was canceled due to the tides not willing (please, don’t let that be foreshadowing), so I’m stuck wondering the best way to move into 2019. A mild obsession with ancient Roman history is playing out in my house right now, so Janus, that uniquely Roman god of transitions and doorways, springs to mind.
The Romans interpreted this role broadly and gave him dominion over the seasons, war and peace, birth, marriage, and death. He was even the doorkeeper of heaven. In ancient Rome, you couldn’t open or close a door without Janus. You also couldn’t walk through one. Thus, his prominence rose at the turning of the year.
He sports two heads, so he contemplates the old year and looks forward to the next—simultaneously. Cool trick. I wish it was in my tool box. My life feels so unpredictable. I can barely take a breath at the beginning of a new year, much less try to figure out what happened in the last one. So, as you can imagine, this is heady stuff for me.
I could go pretty far with this guy on my side. His faces grace statues, coins, and gates. This artwork is striking, usually depicting him with two faces. He has an old side (bearded) and a young side (clean shaven). Just think about the trouble the young Janus can get into while the old one is still looking back.
But as hard as I tried to channel my inner Janus, this doorway god just wasn’t much help. My mind simply isn’t equipped to do two things simultaneously. So, to make sense this transition from one year to the next, I was pretty much left with my social media feeds.
And, if my feeds are any indication, most folks are done with 2018. They want to shut the door on it, convinced slamming it hard enough will end whatever hardship or heartbreak 2018 threw at them. It never has for me, but who am I to deny someone this concrete respite from life. Hopefully, things will work out better for them this year.
But, by the looks of it, there are exciting things ahead in 2019 as well. According to my feed writers are ramping up to do more writing, more editing, and more pitching. There is going to be a plethora of new literature and fluff to read. All. The. Fluff.
I hope this fluff is my Calgon moment for 2019.
But, while I’m happy for others and look forward to reading and writing myself, I just can’t manage to get into the spirit of making 2019 goals. So, here I sit just letting things transpire. My goals and plans have no bearing on what happens in my life, anyway. There are too many moving parts. Too many people, too many possibilities, just too much I can’t control. And yes, it always comes back to control.
Yesterday I started a list of all the things I can’t control including:
- if the boy takes his medicine, if the girl practices dance
- the food choices of either of them
- if my girl goes to school or if my boy goes to work
- if I will manage at least 4 hours of sleep at night, or if I will even wake up in the morning
- I can’t control when a cold is going to hit, when I will need to go to the doctor, or when I will break my foot (full disclosure, it was 3 weeks ago)
And that’s where I stopped. Not because it was comprehensive, but because there was just too much. I could have gone on forever. Almost everything important to me is out of my control. I can encourage all the good things my kids should do for themselves, but I can’t make them do ‘em.
My actions and reactions are the only things I can control. And I can make a pretty good stab at doing both if I give myself enough rest, the right food and medicines (for me), and get a little bit of exercise. Yea, I’ll screw up sometimes. I’ll probably talk when I should listen, or yell when I should listen, or maybe even throw things when I should listen. But I’m less likely to do if I’m only trying to control my reactions instead of the situation thrown at me. It also makes it more likely I will take note of the good things that will happen in my life this year, whatever they may be.
So, here’s to encouraging everyone else’s planning and goal setting. I wish you the best resolving and stick-to-it-ing all year long. I’m just gonna let the new year be what it’s gonna be, and try to dance through it all.
I will probably need some new shoes—and an unbroken foot. Happy New Year. Dancing should commence in three days, or whenever I’m greenlighted by my doc.
*”New year 2019 goals” by
** “Cal Poly Horses 2” by
*** “Dancing in the rain” by Ana P.