Farewell, 2008

I’m back, ya’ll. We had a nice, quiet Christmas, and we didn’t leave the house the next day. Then WH went back to work, and I started to clean. Truthfully, other than the occasional snack and nap, that’s what I’ve been doing since. My house is now nearly as clean as when we bought it two years ago, and I’m proud to say we will start 2009 clean and mostly organized house. For extra credit, I set up my desk so that I can hook the laptop to the scanner and archive all those pre-digital era photos. Baby pictures, wedding pictures and so on. Oh, I haven’t actually gotten around to starting that, I just made it possible to do.

The process of all that deep cleaning, and the self imposed social silence- it had the cathartic effect I had hoped and expected it to. It was very interesting. The office was in the worst shape. I was in there the other day, surrounded by dust bunnies and piles and more piles. How ironic, that the worst room in the house is the one where we keep our hopes, dreams and wishes. The best parts of ourselves.

I stood in the middle of the room. My desk, piled with unpaid bills, nasty letters, scary paperwork and unfinished work. Our old desktop, likely choked with dust, sitting idle. WH’s desk, his fly-tying materials in disarray, books and maps bulging out of every  nook and cranny. Fishing rods, leaned up against the door. Picture albums in piles on the floor. Garden plans, seeds, deck and patio books peeking out of bookshelves covered in the dust of neglect, bowing under the weight of WH’s historical books, my textbooks, our plant books and field guides. His figurines, my frog collection. A soul soup, churning and chaotic. It was obvious that at some point we just quit even trying to go in there, other than to find a place to set something we didn’t have the time or heart to deal with. How appropriate.

As I picked through the mess, I realized that we have laid aside who we are in the face of our problems. We let poor judgment, bad circumstances and horrible economic climate steal our dreams, our wishes, our hopes. We let conflict and stress and strife steal our true selves. We stopped designing a long term plan for the backyard, we stopped tying flies and propagating houseplants. We quit inhabiting that space in our home, and we did not darken the doorstep of that part of our hearts.

In our lives, separate and apart, we’ve had our share of loss. Some of those have been deep, painful losses. This year, we lost ourselves, and in many ways, each other. This has been the hardest year of my life, and lo, I have had some hard years. That loss of self, that loss of hope and light- it is the most terrifying thing I have ever faced.

The cleaning, if only because I believed that it would, brought that light back to me.  In entering that room in my home, organizing it, picking through the shambles of dead dreams and the pieces of dreams with life still in them, I performed the same exercise in that deepest part of me. Holding up each hope and belief in the light of the sun, assessing it’s usefulness, condition and value. Determining what can and should be saved, wiped clean, and assigned a home in that room, and what should be tossed out with the kitchen scraps, given away or sold. In bringing some order and shine to a dirty, disheveled space, I brought some insight, direction and hope to my soul.

I’m not a resolution type of person. It seems trite and foolish to believe that change can occur in an instant, at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve. Making a plan without allowing some room for setbacks and the time it takes to form habits is too unrealistic and daunting. I have goals, aspirations. I want to take better care of myself. I want to make better use of my time. I want to be more organized, neater, cleaner. I have to make myself a promise, though, this New Year’s Eve. I can’t ever let anything or anyone ever take that much from me again.

Good riddance to bad rubbish, 2008. I certainly hope that at some point I can look back on this year and see purpose. Kismet. Meaning. Wisdom, at least. Because I can’t imagine enduring this caliber of pain senselessly.

Hopefully 2009 will be a better year. For me it will be, because at the very least, I’ve rediscovered that part of me that clips a small cutting from a plant, covers it in rooting hormone, and sticks it in the soil, believing in the ability of living things to put out roots and grow.

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9 Responses

  1. Oh, this is beautiful. I am wishing you the very, VERY best for 2009, my dear. You deserve it.

  2. You’re due for something good, so let’s hope ’09 will yield it.

    And here’s to, for lack of a better phrase, “getting your shit together.” Because we all need that, and as a reader I can sense through all the introspection that it’s coming and it’s something you want badly.

    May you get what you want, especially in terms of hopes.

    *toasts*

  3. I just wanted to say thank you for a fantastic post. I can’t wait to get rid of 2008. Happy new year to you and yours! I hope 2009 brings a better year for all of us.

  4. I’m not into new year’s resolutions either. I’m just into the “new year” being another 365 days in which I can measure the positive step forwards as opposed to any negative steps backwards..

    I wish you a wonderful 2009.

  5. A lovely post. Here’s hoping that the new day/month/year bring us all more of the positive and less of the negative, a little rooting hormone for humans in every sunrise!

  6. You are not alone, definitely not. I don’t know you from Adam, but your year seems way close to mine.

    I had a dream tonight, I was to stand in total darkness and start creating a completely new world, from zero,from absolute nothingness.

    Like Bastian rebuilds Fantasia in neverending story. Maybe this a truly unique gift. A chance at brand new start where you get to create your world exactly how you see it. I’m going to do just that.

  7. it is incredible what tidying up can do to you. 🙂
    dreams… I have so many on my desk as well!!
    😦

  8. There are many ready to be rid of 2008 and move on to 2009. I’m one of them and made a point of writing out what I wanted to let go of and move toward for 2009. Here’s to a great year!

  9. Happy (belated) New Year, lovely.
    I know it does seem petty to use a day to demarcate a need for change, but sometimes it is just the push we need to re-evaluate a little. Best of luck in 2009.

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