One of my favorite times of year is the moment you pull out the new day planner and begin filling in the upcoming year. A wedding here, birthdays everywhere, maybe a trip or two if you’re lucky… and you begin to sense what the year beholds. I love the feeling of a fresh year, free of the scratches and doodles and absentminded notes that fills the current year. 

And this week is the National Week Of Looking Ahead and Resolutions/Goals in the blogosphere. How to make positive, healthy changes. Now that Christmas is over, we propel ourselves wholeheartedly into working off the holiday treats and becoming a New You for ’12. 
I typically enjoy this season of reflection and goal setting. I make my annual list of how to make the next year better. I examine where I fell short (and continue to lament about my inability to make a decent non-Velveeta mac ‘n cheese or throw a big party). I try to put myself into the right perspective and in action-mode to greet the new calendar year. 
This year, however, leaves me skidding on the breaks as we approach the big ball drop. I’m no more anxious to dive into the new year than I am for Baby C to start teething. As far as I’m concerned, Pause – or perhaps even Rewind – is my preferred mode. 
As I dug the calendar out today, I noticed that for the first full week of January the only that that differentiates one day from the next, aside from the numerical marking, is what is on the dinner menu. For the entire month, there lies a singular event which will require more than the requisite energy needed to supply the Typical Day.  Of the first 31 days, I have 3 that bear the marking of joyful expectations. 
I started reflecting on the upcoming year. A good friend of mine will make a lifelong commitment to a wonderful man. One of my “kids” will do the same with the “girl of his dreams”, as he put it his sophomore year of high school. And there’s a rumor that my large extended family will attempt a mutual vacationing in the summer. 
Not to take away the joy from these things, but it’s not much to really prop up the year. Perhaps it’s the letdown in comparison to of previous years’ events – graduation from masters’ programs, new jobs, new homes and new babies (this will be the second calendar year in 5 that I don’t give birth!). We’ve settled to a sense of normalcy that I may not know how to face.
Some might think that living through the past 3 years has been a climatic struggle for our household, with so many changes and unknowns. But upon reflection I’ve decided that sometimes it’s the storm that keeps the ship moving, and once the calm comes the captain must figure out where, indeed, we’re headed. When Light Speed becomes the operating mode, downshifting to 3rd gear becomes a challenge. 
I still plan on doing a List. There are specific ways that 2012 can be better than 2011, and I hope to target them to action. But this year I meet it all with a bit less zeal. I sense the prize behind Door #2 next December won’t be a new car, but rather the reward of steady progress. Not the exhilaration of surprise and change, but the peace of the regular and rhythmic. 
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