Thursday, December 28, 2017

My 2018 Wish for You

Wishing you the best for 2018, from my house to yours 

Donis here. Boy, 2017 was something, wasn’t it? I’m not saying what. I don’t use that kind of language (much). But it is almost over now, and we can at least look forward to a new start. Perhaps some comfort, maybe some healing. I hope.

Since my birthday falls between Christmas and New Year, the end of the year is the literal end of another year of life for me. At the beginning of this year I find myself toggling between anticipation and a certain amount of dread. My husband will be having another operation on January 9. This will be his ninth operation in nine years. It should be a relatively minor operation, as these things go, but Don has had so many health problems over the last decade that minor procedures tend to be a little more complicated for him. Still, the surgeon says things should go well, so I keep a good attitude and try not to borrow trouble beforehand. My tenth mystery novel, Forty Dead Men, will launch in February and thus far, the early reviews have been very good. That is something to feel good about. If all goes as planned there are some upcoming trips to which I look forward, so all in all I hold out hope for a pleasant 2018.

I used to make New Year’s resolutions. I vowed to strive for improvement, to become a better person in the upcoming year, to write more. But I gave it up some years ago. Not because I suddenly am without flaw, but because after living through a substantial chunk of my life, it dawned on me that I can resolve to do all kinds of things, but none of my resolutions are going to make any difference in the end. Now, I'm not suggesting that we never make plans or set goals, I'm only saying that we shouldn't be disappointed if things don't go the way we want them to. Because as one Allen Saunders said back in the 1950s, "Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans."

You just don't know. Have you ever been walking along on a winter's day and slipped on the ice? You find yourself on you back gazing up at the sky thinking, "What just happened?" Thirteen years ago, I called my mother in Tulsa to wish her a happy New Year and had a nice long conversation that ended with "I love you and will talk to you tomorrow." The next morning my sister-in-law called to tell me between sobs that she had gone to my mother's house and found that she'd passed away in her sleep. The longer you live the more of those moments you get to have.

The future is out of my hands. I'll go ahead and make my plans, but the only thing I can actually control is this very moment. Yet that is something quite powerful. Hemingway knew it, too. "Today is only one day in all the days that will ever be," he said. "But what will happen in all the other days that ever come can depend on what you do today."

So here is my Ultimate New Year's Resolution, the only resolution I have made for the last several years and the only one I expect I'll ever make again:

I will try to live this moment well.

And to all you Dear Readers, I wish the same.


Eileen Goudge said...

Sage advice, Doris. Like you, I resolve only the live each day to the fullest.

Unknown said...

How apropos. Happy Birthday Donis! And, prayers going out for your husband and a successful surgery.

Sybil Johnson said...

Sage advice, indeed. Happy Birthday, Happy New Year!