To be a convert…. at least for this New Year’s Eve

To be honest, I’ve never been a fan of New Year’s Eve. To go out feels like a requirement, and is often as enjoyable as my third driving test. I don’t need to celebrate the passing of a –soon-to-be extinct year and, through blackout amounts of prosecco suffuse hope into the next one because after all, years are simply made up of days, and can’t every new day hold the intangible promise that we give 1st January? Isn’t each single day of our lives a chance at freshness, to leave our older, parched skins in the bed and don hopeful, sparkling new ones.

But this year I’m embracing it, I’m acknowledging the passing of this whole year, and the tick tock jump over the fence, the single second which pushes our calendar onwards and makes us measurable in history.

It must be said that this wasn’t the year I thought it would be. After a ‘difficult’ time, 2017 was always going to be punching above its weight in expectations. This was the year where only good things would happen because the pendulum has to swing back, right? Good things did happen but so did very bad, and I can honestly say I didn’t get want I wanted, or the wishes that had idled this time last year were never fulfilled.

Part of this year was small and shrunken to exist only in the rooms of my flat, to listen to the purr of traffic, to watch the sun track round from the front to the back, blazing gold everywhere it touched. When I came out from the crawl space though, my life expanded in unexpected ways: to look upon hills and fields and birds and animals, to see art in new ways, to reconnect with old friends, to make new friends, to slow so I could meet my neighbours (I’ve only lived here 7 years after all) and in modern fragmented living, the strangest feeling: an alien, blessed sense of community.

So tonight I am charging my glass and saying thank you to 2017. It didn’t lie down and there were no easy routes; life marched on in its complex, sticky, weird, extraordinary, indomitable way. 2017: you never gave me what I thought I wanted, you didn’t allow me to pick all the pretty, shiny objects from the conveyer belt of life, but you gave me what I didn’t know, you gave me what I truly needed, and for that I am always grateful.

Happy New Year to all.

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