Wednesday, December 26, 2007

New Year Again? Already? What Did I Miss?

The last of the Christmas pine needles and gift wrap have been swept away, the house is clean, quiet, cold. I am clean, quiet, and wiped out. A new year awaits us, or more likely stares us down. Whether we like it or not, here it comes. No snooze alarms, no re-writes, no calling in sick.



But first, a review of the last. Was it what you expected, what you needed, what you desired? Is it ever? Did a wish come true? Did you keep the receipt? Did you truly wish that you kept the receipt?

Why do we make such a big deal of it? We look back to look forward - did we learn, did we grow? And if we grew, do we now diet? And if we ask too many sappy, introspective questions, are we then told to shush?

As kids playing games, we used to argue fiercely over 'do-overs.' If Icky Arty snapped his gum while you were kicking the ball, you got a ‘do-over.’ If a dog ran in your way in the basepath, you could call 'interference' and get a 'do-over.' Rules regarding the execution of a 'do-over' were strict, complicated, and written by 8-year-olds. But by golly, at least we had them.

Oh, what I'd give for a 'do-over' now. Or at least a slow-motion replay. 2007 was a blur, and not just because my eyesight is going. Blink. Done. As adults we have second chances, second helpings, mulligans, rebirths. None are as pure as that quintessential 'do-over.'

We can learn from kids. Before I was even one day old, I taught my parents quite a bit. Such as:

  • If you're due to give birth at Christmas, don't plan to name the baby 'Holly.' The baby will hear you and intentionally wait another entire month just to avoid that name.
  • If you're due to give birth at Christmas, but your baby isn't born until January, it IS possible to claim the baby on tax forms for the prior year and get away with it. It may not be completely legal, but it can be done. (Sorry, Dad.)
  • If you're absolutely sick of being nearly ten months pregnant, before inducing labor, make sure conditions are good. A blizzard, thirty below zero temperature, and a state of emergency are all very good examples of bad conditions.
  • If you're going to induce labor by shoveling snow in a blizzard, make sure to shovel snow near the hospital. Do not shovel snow at home. There are no epidurals available at home.
  • If you're going to give birth to a child so ornery that she takes ten months to be born but then has the audacity to make her entrance into the world at the most inopportune moment and so quickly that she's born in the elevator of the hospital, make sure to put aside lots of money for therapy.

So there you have it - some good advice with which to start your new year. While the odds are quite low that we'll have to confront a blizzard any time soon around here, I'm sure you've learned something. Yes, you have. You've learned to never argue with someone born in a blizzard, in an elevator, a month late, and in a hurry.

As you watch the ball drop upon the knuckleheads gathered to freeze at midnight in Times Square, be proud that you have the common sense to live in Southern California where you can wear shorts all year round, laugh at the silly frozen New Yorkers on TV, and celebrate New Year's Eve at 9pm Eastern Standard Time. Then go to bed immediately. We have much to do in 2008. And we're fresh out of 'do-overs.'


insomniac said...

faith in 'do-overs' takes a long time to disappear... after the 2000 election, my students asked me 'don't you think they just should do the election over?', i said i wasn't sure what would happen, but i didn't think they would do that!

Siouxie said...

I'd like a few "do-overs" myself.

2008 just HAS to be better! (right?)

SW said...


tom said...

wow, annie I had to ask mom about the blizzard and elevator, your tree looked crooked, maybe you could use nana's old blue and white tree. Your son was right when he said "get help".