Across the hall from me, a little boy is sleeping. Tomorrow morning he'll come into my room, touch my face gently, and say, "Hi, Gran. It's 6:30 (or whatever time it will be)." He'll climb into bed with me and we'll cuddle for a few minutes before he says, "I'm hungry."
That is how 2009 will begin for me. It is my 62nd New Year's Day. This is the year I will begin to collect Social Security, and Jim & I hope to make a long-anticipated trip to Europe this year and perhaps another trip across the US, taking a different route and seeing different things.
This is a good time of life.
We measure so much by beginnings and endings, and yet, truly, time is unimportant. Each day is a gift, each smile, each embrace, each touch of a hand - whether it's a hand marked by age or a hand still sticky with a cookie, each sunrise, each rising or sleeping, each is its own precious and special moment.
I really never make New Year's resolutions. When I was younger - a teenager - I would draw up lists of things that seemed to fill the bill for resolutions, but my heart was never in it. Beyond the vague "I really need to lose weight," it has always seemed to me that this great creation of mankind - time - is really immaterial to our lives. It drags on, it speeds by, it escapes our notice, or it becomes all we can think about. And yet all we really have is each moment.
This year, I plan to appreciate the moments. I hope I can live my days without anticipating what is to come tomorrow, without wishing away the moment I am in.
My mother used to tell me that I was wishing my life away. You know the wishes, I'm sure: I wish my birthday/Christmas/prom would hurry up and get here. I wish it was time for vacation. I wish my kids were older and I could __________.
Well, my kids are older. Adults, every one of them. And sometimes I long for those far-away times when I could hold them on my lap and listen to their dreams. The days that I muddled through in a haze, or wished away in anticipation or frustration, each of those days is gone, never to return.
I hope to look at each moment in 2009 with the eyes of a child, as a unique event that will never happen again in quite the same way. I know, even as I write this, that I will fail in this expectation; it's the way I'm made - perhaps the way each of us is made. But I'm going to try.
And so I will end 2008 secure in knowing that, across the hall, Addison is curled up with his blankie and his Winnie-the-Pooh. I will think of him and of all my grandsons - Andrew, David, Matthew, and Adin - as they embark on all the hopes, joys, disappointments, successes, and even failures of this life - and hope that they can find within themselves a lifetime of seeing the new in each day, each moment.
I wish for you, everyone, a bright and beautiful 2009, beginning with tomorrow's sunrise!