New Year’s Day is one that often finds me muddled and, well, psychically stuck. Am I supposed to reflect back on the year that was, noting its highs and lows – sort of like a mental holiday letter? Perhaps looking back is futile and I should spend time looking to the year ahead, with hope and resolution? A better use of my time may involve digging out from the holiday vacation, but then that particular undertaking would certainly eclipse any possibility of dwelling in the spirit of this, the first day of 2013.
No deep reflections for this column, then. Instead, I will attempt to create some “Lisa’s Top Five” lists. You know the type I mean: top five movies seen, top five books read, top favorite places visited, etc.
Let’s start with movies. The challenge – and of course there is one – is that I did not actually see five movies this year in the theater. I think I may have seen three. One, from last summer, I absolutely hated: it had something to do with a married couple who fell out of love and decided to see a marriage counselor (what was I thinking?). Then there was the adultery fest, Anna Karenina, which I already wrote about in this space in November. And recently I saw The Hobbit, which was good, but way too long for my limited attention span.
As for books, I know I read well over a dozen, but alas, I am old and this much is true: a memory is indeed a terrible thing to lose. As it happens, I can only recall the one I finished this morning: Help, Thanks, Wow by Anne Lamott. For Lamott fans, who also happen not to be atheists, this short work will not disappoint. It’s uplifting, aptly written, and witty.
As for television, I watched nothing at all this year. By the time I had caught wind about how much I’d enjoy Downton Abbey, Modern Family, or The Good Wife, these shows were already deep into their third, fourth, or fifth seasons and who likes to start in the middle? Certainly not me.
Top five places visited? Again, I am drawing a blank. There was a family reunion held over July 4th weekend in Washington, DC, that was fun. It was over 100 degrees and the power was out from wild storms that had passed through a few days earlier, but everyone remained cheerful and welcoming, if a little sweaty.
I visited more than a few basketball courts, soccer fields and indoor swimming pools across this fair state over the last year. And, for better or worse, I expect I will be on the sidelines in similar venues in the coming year as well. Go team!
Perhaps a year in review, given the particular phase of life I am in, is not the way to go today. A few closing thoughts then, on the year ahead.
2013. It sounds so futuristic. What will be different one year from now? Will the two parties in Washington still be gridlocked in partisan posturing? Will lawmakers make any headway on banning the weapons of mass destruction here in the good old USA?
And closer to home – will residents support debt exclusions for a new pool? How about a new library? What services will need to be cut to close this year’s anticipated gap between available revenue and level service budgets? Will the Uplands developer pick this year to pull his permits? And what will move forward in Cushing Square? Many residents, including me, remain concerned that the scale and mass of what is being proposed there is too large for this already dense suburb.
So many questions, so few answers. Well, so few for today. A year from now, of course, more will have been revealed.
Until then, wishing you all a healthy, happy new year. May your resolutions see you through the weekend, at least!