A group of folks gathered at the community room last evening to usher out 2018 and herald the dawn of a new year of possibilities. Our gathering took a different form than originally intended. A death in the family of the organizer forced her to leave. The rage of the Delta winds cancelled the planned bonfire. But we had snacks, and Apples to Apples, and five or six neighbors gathered around a table.
At ten o’clock, I knew, all of a sudden, that I had to scram and quickly. I trusted one soul with the security of the place, wished everyone “Happy New Year”, left the champagne, and fled.
Two hours later, I woke with every muscle cramped in ways that I have not experienced in five years, since starting viral therapy and regimented Botox shots on my legs. I writhed and shuddered. I pulled myself vertical and staggered to the bathroom, groping for Tylenol. Eventually, the spasms subsided enough for me to crawl under the covers and fall into an uneasy sleep.
I’m convinced that allowing myself the unusual luxury of unlimited chippage resulted in a sort of temporary sodium poisoning state. I firmly believe that no party would be complete without Lay’s Classics. Don’t bring the low-salt or baked variety. Nobody can eat just one! However, I don’t usually let the bowl hover at my elbow. I typically sit as far away from temptation as possible. Not last night.
I awoke before seven, relieved to be alive, convinced of the potential of this new year. Songs and slogans rolled by as I scrolled through social media and enjoyed photos of other people partying. I felt no envy; I’ve always preferred a quiet New Year’s Eve with family, friends, or a special someone. I’m short on special somebodies, and my family spends their time in colder climes. But new friends in my reconfigured world provided the perfect soiree, up until the moment that my body protested my careless treatment of it.
I’m not complaining. Today the coffee sits hot in my crystal mug and Neko Case croons from the Bluetooth speaker via Spotify. I can deal with this. I’ve made it this far, and 2019 holds promise. I’ve got this.
So here’s what I wish for each of you.
Hope to propel you forward.
Strength to steady your steps.
Courage to weather life’s battles.
And wisdom to know when to rest.
It’s the first day of the sixty-first month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.