"The highway signs say we're close,
But I don't read those things anymore.
I never trusted my own eyes."
-Stubborn Love by The Lumineers
A year in review?
I don't know.
I don't know what I'm closer to, or what I'm farther from.
My heart is so much happier, and so much more full of ache.
I am older and wiser, but I wish I could be younger and oh-so-naive again.
Maybe everything is changing, or maybe it's tortuously the same.
I know more of what I want, and less of how to get it.
I can't make sense of most of what I've seen this year. And maybe it doesn't matter, now that it's ending, and being replaced by a shiny 2015, with glitter and flashbulbs to assure me that this is the year. This time I'll figure it out. This time I'll know. The confetti will shower me in an avalanche of goals and resolutions that will outshine all the regrets and broken promises.
Sometimes, I feel like a boat in an ocean with no land in sight. Because I can control what I do. But there are seven billion other people in seven billion other boats, and I can't control any of them. And there are big storms that come out of nowhere, it seems. And boats are kind of lonely things anyway.
There are times when I blaze into a new year full of wild hope and bubbly excitement, as if I'd toasted the whole bottle of champagne to myself. There are others where I simply pray a silent prayer in the dark, waiting until everyone has gone to sleep and it's just me in the blankets, staring up at God in a kind of hesitant wonder. We have a long, but mostly wordless talk. And for the most part, I just tell Him that I don't know. I don't know. My best prayers are probably when I keep my mouth closed.
I've had thirty years of these midnights, of the calendar rolling to a new page. They no longer seem worthy of sequined dresses or noisemakers. Instead, they tend to arrive without any fanfare at all. The Christmas decorations look outdated and out of place already. The ball dropping in New York is too far away from a small town in central Illinois farmland.
And anyway, isn't that what the Midwest is known for- a quiet resolve? A steadfast determination? No matter the weather, the farmers have to sow and reap at some point. You do what has to be done. There is a beauty in that, even though it's mostly lost in the world today.
So 2015 will find me doing what has to be done, whatever that may be. I will love my children. I will finish school. I will cook our meals and make our trips to the library. I will sit in the hallway during her ballet class, and console him after his immunizations. I will laugh and I will cry. I will sing along with the radio. I will read lots of board books and mourn for time to read from my own shelf. I will try to make the holidays happy. I will buy hair dye in a box. I will revel and glory in fall's return. I will celebrate birthdays and marvel at new accomplishments. I will get a new pair of shoes, and pay taxes, and discover new recipes. I will still check on them at night. I will get teased for the amount of photos I take of anything and everything. I will stay up too late and wish for time to sleep in. I will write.
I will do the small things that constitute this life, a life that feels small, but one that God sees nonetheless. And even though I don't know, He does. For now, I go to bed and wake up again.