My facebook wall has exploded today, full of wishes and cheer and resolutions. Enigmatic and encouraging slogans, pictures of fitness and cheer and sparkling love in amongst the excitement of welcoming in a new year. It is a yearly tradition, and one I've participated in before. A new year, a new leaf, a new life journey to travel. Entreaties to positivity and something better these 366 days that will make up 2012.
Usually I'd be in the thick of it, grand declarations of plans and exciting resolutions. To be fitter, healthier, happier. Something more than the year before. Seeking, searching that golden year to fire the spirit, and knowing that while it may be very much like every other year that the optimism in approaching it allows for brief moments of hope and glee.
And instead I lie here in bed, unwilling to get up just yet, not because of a sore head or hangover or even misery. But just because I like lying in bed. And I have to go to work in an hour and though I don't want to I have to, because people have not ceased to become ill simply because it is Sunday.
Whether I make resolutions or not, 2012 will be a tough year. At the very least I will be studying again, and hard. I will be stressed and tired. In the second half of the year I have to leave home and work away - far away - for about 6 months. I am not looking forward to that.
I didn't make a resolution to read more in 2011, but I did anyway, and I want to keep that going. There's no resolution for that, just a quiet conviction that my life is better for books and a determination to keep it going. I learned to wear eyeliner in 2011 and wore it in Paris on top of the Eiffel Tower. And I wore it with a bright red dress to a ball. I bought a phenomenal amount of clothes in 2011, some because they were needed when the first half of the year made me so anxious that I lost a dress size, but some just because there was therapy in finally owning things that were pretty.
My resolution last year was to breathe and to go to Paris, and I did both. I breathed in Paris until the fine white dust coated the inside of all my veins and will never leave me even if I never see her again. It was my highlight, my pinnacle, my Gleam. I stood in the rain on the banks of the Seine and let it mist in my hair. I stood at the parapet of Renaissance castles and gazed out at the loveliness like princesses did centuries before. I sat on the steps of a tiny farmhouse in Versailles and watched the pigs in the garden. I ate a grape from the vine in Amboise and I climbed the steps of Montmartre all the way to the top of Sacre Coeur.
I sat in a tuktuk in Bangkok as we careened through traffic while disco lights above me danced in staccato blue and pink. I rode a bike through fruit plantations in Southern Thailand and ate hot and sour soup on the Mekong. My hands got burned because I forgot to put suncream on them, and I only noticed later as I was swimming in the pool on the 19th floor. I wore Louboutins to a famous roof top bar and I drank sunsets as the clouds turned gossamer pink after the rain. I ate street food picked from a sign and Pepsi from glass bottles.
I started doing yoga again, properly this time, and rediscovered my flexibility and strength. My standing strength that allows me to move into natarajasana fluidly and to arch more easily each time. The focus on my connectedness to Earth as all other thoughts and sensations flee, leaving a flood of warm breath instead.
I read more to the girls, and we started on a few of my favourite books. I cried while reading the sad parts of Harry Potter and cried more when the Elfling laughed out loud at the funny bits, so glad am I that she's starting to finally to enjoy the process of reading and the wonder of written worlds.
I read the Millennium Trilogy and Jane Eyre and Gatsby. I finally read Wuthering Heights and don't really get the fuss aside from this one line which I underlined in my book because I liked it so much*. I have decided that I"m going to do that with my books now and write freely in the margins. I used to hate finding defaced books in the library, but when they're MY books I want to be able to read my thoughts as I was reading. But some books will stay pristine, only yellow and love touching their leaves.
My hands are getting older and the skin is different. It's not as soft. It's not wrinkly or veiny but it's different and it's never going back. I like to sit sometimes and just look at it, these tiny, capable, inelegant hands of mine with the ragged nails that I can't stop biting again through anxiety or impatience or indolence or all of the above.
My hair is longer than last year and curling. It smells like coconut and I am better (though not good) at styling it. I have had 6 grey hairs. Except they're not grey, they're white and they glow. One day when my hair is all white it will look amazing.
My eyes are mostly brown again, with gold flecks. Some days they're green but they rarely fire into proper gold. I am ok with this. The Monkey has dark brown eyes and the Elfling has gold flecks so I feel like I have both of them when I stare in the mirror and wonder at the colour that is so different than it was before.
I have become a better writer and a worse cynic. A smaller dreamer but a fiercer fighter. I have finally locked a door that swung and slammed with every breath of wind - and although I still have the key and can't bear to throw it away, the noise no longer startles me when I had thought I had forgotten it. I didn't dance enough wiht the Wind in 2011 and I did not look at the stars enough.
I have no especial resolutions for 2012, I am trusting it to happen regardless of plans, and for once I just want to face it, without any layers of anything else on top. It feels like a hard year. A gritty year. An honest year. I no longer believe in satellite parties or mystic things. But I believe in working hard to make things happen. Magic things. Epic things. Mountains to climb and flags to fly. There feels a great deal of Alpine Path climbing in 2012 to come. I will be stretched and pulled and I will hurt. But it will be the good hurt, that comes of working for something worthwhile.
And occasionally I want to sit on a swing and swing just for the joy of swinging. Of seeing my feet in the air and feeling the wind rush across my face. And forget all things and all hard work and ambition and just swing.