"Welcome to the worst twelve months of your life."
This was my family physician's response to news that my husband and I had separated, thus earning him the nickname of Dr. Smiley from now on.
There's only one way to take a comment like that from someone you respect greatly: be thankful that five months of it are out of the way.
Made it through Thanksgiving. And Hanukkah. Christmas and Boxing Day. My husband's birthday and what I guess was technically still our twenty-first wedding anniversary. It all sucked. I mean, let's just be honest here. It sucks.
But while we are being honest, let's keep track of a few not-one-bit-sucky items on the universal radar.
Seven of my friends just had babies. All were born healthy. All have parents who love them. Each one of them has yet to knowingly behold a peach sunset, the blush of a loved one, the sound of Jimi Hendrix, or Mozart, or the whinny of a horse. It is all ahead of them. The world is born again with each one of them. And I don't have to change any of their diapers or pay any of their college tuition.
There was a meteor shower the other night. I missed it. I mean I was there for it, just couldn't see a thing on the eighteen degrees Fahrenheit, light polluted, Northeast horizon. But I did prove that if a meteor falls in the night sky and you don't see it, it doesn't make it any less awesome.
The moon has been stunning lately. I love looking at the moon. I never tire of it and I miss it on cloud-covered or otherwise moonless nights. My daughter has developed an interest in it, too, which will no doubt grow now that she is the proud owner of a pirate-worthy spy glass.
People keep finding interesting things to do with garbage. I keep reading about them. Build a house, make lighting, create a costume, start a career, let the toddler play in it. Twist it, melt it, paint it gold, live with it, on it, under it... whatever. It's garbage and someone made it useful and that makes me feel that we all can do something sneakily better..
The Jefferson Bible is on exhibit in DC. I was supposed to take my kids today but earaches abounded this AM so we had to skip it. Yes, that was sucky. But we will go and see with our own eyes what was one of the simplest, most profound acts in the understanding of truly American faith based on reason. And I will cry. The Jefferson Bible is that important to me. Being able to see it will be close to miraculous. I can't wait.
I could go on. And on. Because I really like being nothing but a speck on the gigantic landscape of the universe. My pains hurt something awful to me, but they don't hurt the moon or the stars or Thomas Jefferson and that gives me comfort.
We also have a knack in our family of completely wiping our brains clean of horrible times. These twelve months will end up shaken like an etch-a-sketch and years from now I may remember it all differently if I remember any of it.
In 2013 I may just look back believing that I saw those meteors. I chased that moon. I studied the Jefferson Bible as much as I wanted. And every day I woke up full of vim ready for whatever the hours would bring. Sure - that's not what happened. But who's to say I would remember it how it happened anyway?
Happy New Year! Seize the joy in each day. Eat delicious food. Kiss as much as your lips can stand it. Celebrate inefficient brain cells who do what they want. Do something with that trash.