It’s the end of the year as we know it

Tomorrow we are all back to our usual schedules. Our son will get on his bus right around the time his sister is waking up. By the time she catches her school bus, my husband will be on the road and I will be answering work emails halfway through my second cup of coffee.

Vacation is over. It’s a whole new year – the first I can remember going into with such apprehension about what’s to come. I have jumped into most years with both feet like a five year old let loose in a rain puddle. By January 1, I am almost always already armed with a list of resolutions, a new journal, a new personal planner and a sometimes even a vision board of all the things I want to pull toward me. But this year is different.

This morning, my husband and I were watching  Ellen and it was a rerun from two months back – just days before the election. I could barely take it – listening to Ellen full of hope. I feel the same sad anxiety when I see an “I’m With Her” bumper sticker. Even “Feel the Bern” stickers make me sad. I didn’t hang lights outside this year when we put up our Christmas tree.

I went shopping today with friend specifically to buy a wall calendar and a planner. We went to The Paper Source, a store that pretty much only sells paper – stationary, journals, notebooks, calendars and planners – but I came home with only the wall calendar. None of of the planners worked for me. One I liked the pages, but the cover was too floral – it reminded me of the house robes my grandmother would wear in the evenings with a row of safety pins down the front. Another had a jazzy black with gold foil trim and 2017 lettering – but it wasn’t the right size and it was $52.95 because Kate Spade’s name was on the back. (If I’m going to spend $50, it’s got to have some heft to it. Size matters when it comes to my planners.)

I’m not so sure there was anything wrong with any of the planners. Now that I’m home – and still can’t find one I like even online where there is an endless supply of options – it occurs to me that maybe I’m not ready to hold the whole year in my hands all at once.

This blog is my way to center myself. To return daily to what makes me happy. More words. More miles. My plan is to cover 20 miles per week and 500 words per day. By January 31, if all goes as planned, I’ll be able to write 80/15,500 on my wall calendar where I am keeping a log of the ground and pages I cover. That’s as far into the future as I am willing to look. Get to January 31 – and then I can go from there.

I have other goals. Bigger intentions. A novel I want to finish. Another half-marathon. Essays I’ve started and restarted and restarted again, but never completed – I want them polished and published. I want my office organized, my books arranged by titles. I want to write more personal letters in the New Year and to read more poetry. I want more trips to the beach and more coffee with friends.

Stephen Colbert just came on and it’s a rerun – the one with him singing his rewrite of “It’s the End of the World as We Know It”  with Michael Stipe standing beside him shaking his head no. It’s supposed to be funny, but Micheal looks as depressed as I feel whenever I see footage of our very, very soon to be President. Stipe also looks like recent pictures of David Letterman – both with long white beards. (Then James Franco shows up and it does feel a little better because he’s so god damn good looking.)

It’s January 2. I ran another 4.2 miles today. And as of this post – more than 600 words. So far the blog is working.

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