“Time has no divisions to mark its passage, there is never a thunder-storm or blare of trumpets to announce the beginning of a new month or year. Even when a new century begins it is only we mortals who ring bells and fire off pistols.” — Thomas Mann
I’ve mentioned every January 1st that I don’t think of the new year as a momentous occasion – life is full of events, some big, most not. All of which form us, help us grow, change us – good and bad. The start of a new calendar year is merely one more step along the way – at most a way of marking a fixed spot – a guidepost as it were. I do stop and reflect with fair frequency because I’m introspective by nature, though, and it is customary, on the new year, to do some reflecting on the year that’s just passed. I don’t do resolutions (sorry to disappoint), but I do attempt a bit of forecasting. Although I must admit my crystal ball hasn’t worked in years, and if I’m honest that leaves my forecasting with only an average success rate.
On balance, 2018 was a reasonably good year (discounting politics). We are all healthy, if somewhat battered and showing signs of aging, and are mostly happy. My forecasts for 2018 were a bit off since elder daughter was unable to make the trip to the US with her husband because of a job change. However, my spouse and I managed a trip to Arizona to explore our housing options. My husband broke his leg over the summer, and as result our house only went on the market in late November (and was delisted immediately because we have an accepted offer – with the usual contingency on the sale of the buyer’s house – and dealing with backup showings just seemed to stressful). I stopped working nearly a year ago after agreeing to being downsized, and accepting a very generous package. I’ve been doing quite bit of volunteer work. My inner idealistic, semi-radical, self has maintained its footing over the course of the year. I marched for science (again). Besides my ongoing volunteer remote desk job, I’ve done other volunteer activities locally. I managed to finish NaNoWriMo this year. I kept up with this blog, but missed my forecast of a new theme and a more frequent posting schedule. Actually, I’m truly amazed by how little free time I seem to have now that I’m not working.
The future? For the blog, I will continue with my eclectic approach to posting (its name is Time For My Thoughts, after all). 3 days a week seems to be my limit, but I’d still like to increase it to 4 at some point. Perhaps in 2019. Perhaps not. I kept the 2016 theme through 2018 because I like it, and didn’t find any that I liked better. But I do think that it really is time for a change, so I’ll start testing new themes sometime this month (note for those of you not familiar with WordPress, themes are formats.)
For life outside the blog? I know some things (& don’t know many others). My nice package runs out later this month (time does fly), and so too will my income. Assuming all goes well, we will be selling the house well before spring, and after much hand-wringing, and family discussions, we decided that we will head to Arizona, leaving our younger daughter to remain in her chosen school, visiting us occasionally. Some details – like where to register her car which will stay with her, are still undecided, as is how we’ll juggle the logistics of moving 2700 miles (never mind the long distance home buying thing – or the likely out-of-state job hunting). Elder daughter is not planning a trip home this year, but our move to the southwest may actually be easier for her when she does. Younger daughter will mostly stay in New York and northern New Jersey (where her school is). She has close friends near where we live now, and my brother & his family live fairly close to her college, so it should work out well. In the meantime, we’ve started eliminating (freecycle.org is wonderful) or packing up the non-essentials. There are, as always, many variables, and the important thing is how we adapt – not whether we can rigidly adhere to a plan. If we get too caught up in the plans, life just whizzes by in the blink of an eye, and we miss it.
Whatever your views on calendars, crystal balls, planning, or resolutions, I wish you all a happy, healthy, peaceful 2019.
Photo of the Pillars of Creation courtesy of NASA.