Every New Year I think of the year 2000, when I was 12, and we were living in England. We celebrated with my Uncle Andrew and Aunt Tanya in Canterbury, and went to their neighbor’s party for a little while. Since it wasn’t fun for us little kids, our parents took us back to Andrew’s house for a few hours and we watched “My Girl” before going back to ring in the New Year with everyone. I remember this particular night because there was so much hype about the Y2K bug and the possibility that the world would end. My family didn’t believe this, and I was fairly confident that everything would be fine, but a small part of me wondered–what would happen at midnight? What would the end of the world look like? Were the families in our homeschooling network who were stockpiling supplies right after all? Would we wish we had saved bottles of water? Would the end of the world mean the end of my life? Would dying hurt?
And yet here we are 12 years later. I am double the age I was then. I have survived multiple world endings–including one just this past May and there is another one coming up in December 2012. Through these experiences, I’ve become pretty confident the world is not going to end with a bang anytime soon.
Still, even if the world is going to exist for another billion or so years, I am very aware that in regards to our individual lives, we can’t really know what the next day will bring. And if the year 2011 has taught me anything, it is that we should cherish each day that we have with our loved ones, because you never know what’s around the corner. In the past year I have lost a dear friend, finished my first year of grad school, passed my general exam, moved into a beautiful house with Bucknell friends, started my second year of grad school, thought I was going to lose a second dear friend to a brain infection, started a new relationship, finished my first semester of teaching, began watching a delightful 3 year old and her 16 mos old brother. And today, the last day of the year, my relationship ended.
I am glad that 2011 is over; there were times I did not think I would survive this year. And yet, there were also moments when I was so grateful and happy to be experiencing this wonderful thing called life. As we move into the new year, and a new semester, I am excited about the possibilities ahead of me. I hope to have completed my second benchmark by the end of the year, and to have completed the requirements to get the MA in my program. I want to organize a camping trip sometime in April with my friends and fellow grad students, as well as start a Spirit Circle which would meet regularly. I also plan to walk and bike more and be outside as much as possible. Hopefully I continue watching the two kids I began baby-sitting in December, as they are a delight to be around, and I have some other baby-sitting possibilities lined up too. Finally, in June, if all goes well I’ll be heading to England to see family. Here’s to a wonderful 2012!!