Thursday, December 31, 2009

Xinnian Kuaile!*

Tonight's the night. Another New Year's Eve. Another year on it's way out. Another opportunity to envision the day my grandkids will perhaps be wondering why they keep trotting out the very advanced-in-age Ryan Seacrest on New Year's Eve. But I say God Bless to Ryan, because as I've said before, hosting looks like the easiest job in the world but it ain't. He and Dick Clark have the skills to jump from Taylor Swift to the Foo Fighters to the cast of Two and a Half Men, and make it all seem cohesive. So no dissing the Seacrest for me.

Unlike other years I am not necessarily leaping for joy that the current year is over. 2006? Good riddance. 2007? A good ending from a bad beginning. 2009? A mixed bag.

Yesterday as we drove to Target so Bambina could spend her gift card money, she was saying how if felt good but bad to not be at the store yet, that she just couldn't wait and the waiting was making her body feel funny. I said, "That is called 'anticipation.' It's the excited, restless feeling you get when you really, really want something and are super close to getting it, but you're not yet close enough." This, I think, sums up what we are all feeling individually and as a family about 2009. So much anticipation, not enough fruition.

Baby Sister. She's ours but she's not with us. Every day I wake up and think, "My child is in an orphanage for another day without me." Then I make myself feel better by saying that I have the rest of her life with her, so not to get too wiggy about a few months apart when she's a baby. And then I think, "That's bullshit and you know it, but there's nothing you can do about it, so move on."
Hope for 2010: My baby girl. Home with me. ASAP.

My health. It's fabulous except when it's not. Chronic GVH effing sucks. I hope that I'll one day be off prednisone and my immunosuppressive cocktail, and I won't be 20 pounds heavier than usual, but who knows? Maybe I won't. I hope that the drugs will do what they did for my acute GVH, which is eradicate it. The challenge is that Chronic is a different animal than Acute. Chronic wants to hang around, and it wants to attack weird things like connective tissue rather than, say, your average colon. My skin looks weird now on my back; if I move it looks like cellulite all over because the fibrous tissue under my skin is being shortened by the GVH. So there goes my 2010 bikini modeling contract, folks.
Hope for 2010: A respite from the GVH and from the drugs. Even a little one. Even enough that I get to look in the mirror and semi-recognize my own face.

Our house. 2009 was going to be the year we fixed our deck and our chimney, so we'd be able to have friends over and enjoy our home in summer. It would be cucumber sandwiches and mint juleps and children at play! Only, the first contractor who did the job did it wrong, took our money, has an expired license, and worked without a permit, unbeknownst to us. So we fired him and had to hire a new guy to come and take down everything he did and essentially start over. As we figure out how to hopefully get some restitution, we are now digging ourselves out of the financial hole of having had to pay for two major jobs twice. So, we're psyched we have the deck--just in time for winter!?--but let's just say we're happy Bambina hasn't been accepted to college this year, or sweet thang would be out of luck.
Hope for 2010: No more house projects that hemorrhage money. Being content with our little loveshack just the way it is.

Writing. You'll recall I took the writing class in 2009 that inspired me to write more. Then life got in the way and all my big plans got shelved. This is as it should be, on the one hand, because when your kid needs you you drop everything. On the other hand, if I'm honest, I spent a good deal of 2009 making sure everyone else was good to the detriment of my own goals. This is, of course, nobody's fault but my own, especially since I'm married to perhaps the coolest and most solicitous guy on the planet who routinely tells me to get out of the house, ignore the messy kitchen and go write something. But then my Unemployed White Female alterego kicks in and I feel like if I am not working and contributing financially to the house, I have no business sitting in a coffee shop writing. Like, how is that okay? How is that a good use of time when other people are WORKING at REAL jobs?? And so I go paint a room or mop the floors instead.
Hope for 2010: That I finally get in agreement with myself that stuff I do matters even if it doesn't earn me any money. That perhaps writing is a valid use of my time, as valid as someone else's workout or coffee break or job, even. That I'm entitled to a couple of hours a day not spent in service to another human. We'll see how that goes: “For last year's words belong to last year's language and next year's words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.”

You. This one's unqualified: Thanks for reading, thanks for commenting, thanks for keeping this fun. As the Scottish new year song "A Guid New Year to Ane an' A" says:

A guid new year to ane an' a'
An' mony may ye see,
An' during a' the years to come,
O happy may ye be.
An' may ye ne'er hae cause to mourn,
To sigh or shed a tear;
To ane an'a baith great an' sma'
A hearty guid New year.

*Happy New Year in Mandarin

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