My tea is cooling and the dogs are asleep across my legs, and the pervading feeling is one of waiting. I am not good at waiting.
The wait is for 2014 to wobble through its last hours and 2015 to start, because once it starts, life picks up pace again, and I’ll be able to pack and organise and be proactive in a way that isn’t really possible at the moment.
The holiday time is always a bit of a limbo: the being in someone else’s house, with someone else’s rules, and no set timeline for the day. Without a timeline and a space to retreat to, I find myself sleeping far later than I’m happy doing. It’s worse at the moment because there is so much to organise in January. Really, my new year starts in February, and January is the tying up of various loose ends. I am itching to go through all my rubbish and get rid of large swathes of things I kept because ‘they might come in handy’ (off the top of my head these things include: scraps of felt; a torn clown costume; lots and lots of beads that I’ve had for ten years and not touched; a half-finished crocheted baby blanket that was intended for my first nephew, who will be six in March).
In many ways, 2014 has been great – I achieved my small aims on the writing front and the going-out-and-meeting-people front, and those things have been very rewarding. I’ve made friends that I hope will be life-long, and I’ve tiptoed out of my comfort zone (and god knows, I love my comforts) and been pleasantly surprised at what I can do. A lot of what I’ve done feels like the start of something, and that includes taking the step, that I wouldn’t have dared do a couple of years ago, to pursue my dream job.
2015 is going to be a scary year. Having been in the same flat for six years and the same job for seven, even with setting personal goals, 2014 and 2013 and 2012 and the years before all had a settledness to them. I knew the people, I knew my surroundings. It’s been a long time since I’ve pitched myself (and my loved ones) so wholly into the new. I’d forgotten this knot of tension at not knowing. Yep. It’s scary. But I think it will also be worth it. I have been incredibly lucky (read Jess Burton on luck and privilege – my achievements this year may not be on the same level as hers, but she beautifully describes the luck/privilege/work combo HERE). It’d be a bit crap not to make the most of that luck.
Having said all that – 2014 has also been a bitch. I don’t just mean on a world-scale (although it has, it has. The world news has been relentlessly bad this year, to understate it. These are dark times.) On a personal front, for me and many friends, 2014 has been the year that age caught up and time caught up. Not with us, but with our parents and grandparents. I know people who have achieved amazing things this year, but the sad truth is that the catalyst to doing these things has been death and illness and loss. Cancer has reared its ugly head in its many forms. My dad had a severe stroke. These things – they are the earth-movers, the world-shakers on a personal level. When life as you know it changes irrevocably, then I guess the best response is to grip that bit harder and shake more out of it, whether your shaking is learning how to walk and talk again or seizing the time to travel. (The aftershock of her mum’s death has sent B at Riding Storms around the world. My dad has worked incredibly hard to overcome the effects of the stroke, and if you could see what he’s achieved in the months since, there’s much to admire in that effort alone. And in my mum, who’s working alongside him, who’s going through it with him.)
Anyway. 2015: an unknown quantity. Could be good, could be bad, will probably be both. I have plans. First drafts I want to finish. Driving licenses to obtain. Stuff to prove to myself. But for now, for the next 48 hours, between the dog-walking and beaches and typing, I’m waiting.
I finished this year on the writing front with one last Visual Verse entry. I think it sums up 2014 quite well, though I didn’t write it with that intention. I hope you like it: Accompaniment