Endings and Beginnings

It's cold. This is not run of the mill winter cold. We're going on two days of bone-chilling, teeth-chattering, butt-numbing cold. I spent only the briefest moments outside today, walking the dog on an abbreviated loop while she, oblivious to the low temperature, sniffed to her heart's delight. And I, lacking the warmth of fur, waited with impatience for her to finish her examination of brittle ivy, sidewalk ice, trees shorn of leaves, frozen dirt, everything in sight - or scent, I guess. Walking the dog is almost always a lesson for me in the journey versus the destination. I tend to get caught up in getting to the destination. Moving quickly, I can't wait to get there, get an answer, check it off. When my children were younger, walking to the park reminded me of this lesson. It was only two blocks but some days it seemed to take forever to get there. Small children, positioned as they are to view the world differently than adults, become enchanted with almost anything. A leaf floating in a pool of water, a lone dandelion in a lawn, a mailbox. They are there for the journey. Arriving at the park is simply a bonus. Lately, I've been a bit caught up with the destination rather than the journey. I think I'd like to recapture the wonder of the journey. After all, if we're talking about life - I don't think I really want to explore the destination yet, you know? Anyway, the holidays are over and that always makes me a bit sad, even as I'm breathing a sigh of relief to be finished with the busiest time of the year. I'm always surprised that I can make it through the season without letting on to the world that I'm actually inept and maintaining the facade is just an illusion created by smoke and mirrors. Christmas was wonderful as we welcomed parts of both sides of our family - my mother, stepfather and great-aunt. Tom's parents and his sister with her family. Though our house is not huge, it's big enough and it felt warm and happy with family filling every available seat, opening gifts, eating, drinking. Certainly it was one of the the best Christmases in memory.

Both our children are born around the holidays. One at Thanksgiving and one days after Christmas. So just when I was ready to slip into a post-holiday coma, I found myself hosting a sleepover for my now 10-year old son two days after hosting fourteen for Christmas. (whew). Thankfully, the following days held little in terms of obligation and we all enjoyed staying in p.j.'s for hours, spending time together, unstructured days. (In other words, we played a lot of Super Mario Brothers).

I don't feel ready to get back into the swing of things tomorrow but I suspect that I will welcome structure back into my days, especially in helping me carve out time for myself, for my writing. This is the time of year for resolutions but to me they always feel a bit school marmish - like someone wagging a finger and reminding me to do better. But I do like to set goals. My husband, in his work with business strategy talks about B-HAGs: Big Hairy Audacious Goals. So herewith or forthwith or whateverwith, I will set out my two Big Hairy Audacious Goals for 2010: 1. To complete another book; 2. To run another marathon.

And I suppose if I were going to make a resolution, it would be to enjoy the process or the journey more and become less focused on the destination. Share your B-HAGs for 2010 or your resolutions - I'd love to hear them.

And in the meantime, Happy New Year!