It’s a New Year
Welcome back to the future!
Don’t you love going though the tunnel and coming out on the other side?
I find the exhilaration habit-forming. Fortunately, it’s annual.
I go into the tunnel of year’s end gleefully, but I leave it dragging my feet against the re-emergence.
By Thanksgiving, I’ve got the knack of the fast-aging year that still seems new to me. My three-month-at-a-glance wall calendar — a free can’t-do-without for which I am indebted to Jim Martin of Free State Press in Annapolis — tells me the truth. By that holiday, we’ve made 47 Bay Weeklies. At 52, we’ll be done. I can manage that.
The winter holidays illuminate the darkest days of the year, so that we pass through their tunnel in brightness, busyness and — letting go our Scroogeness — joyfulness. With the solstice, light always wins. With Christmas, hope is reborn.
Then — in what’s surely the fastest week of the year — the fun slows down. If we’re lucky enough not to work retail and enjoy a few days off, we turn inward after outward. Everybody I know, myself included, has used the past week for organizing, from tidying the pantry to considering life goals and reevaluating its meaning.
I like the busyness of the holidays. I like the quiet of the interim week. I’d stay back there for a long, long time. But the New Year drags me in.
The festivities of New Year’s Eve give me a big push, and I break through, full of new energy. Happy New Year! I’m ready to go.
In many ways, the future into which I step is déjà vu all over again.
Work resumes. Here I am again at my keyboard, writing my Letter of Volume xxi, Number 1. I’ve been here before, so I should certainly know just what to do.
Yet the 51 issues ahead are a challenge I feel in my chest, right around my heart. It’s heavy enough to weigh me down. Or I can rise to the singing in my blood, transforming fear into anticipation.
“I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life,” said Scorpio painter Georgia O’Keefe, “and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.”
O’Keefe’s words are the inspiration Free Will Astrology writer Rob Brezsny offers this week to people born between October 23 and November 21. You can have it, too, no matter your birth date, if you’d like it. As Brezsny’s Bay Weekly editor, I give you that permission, just as I give it to myself whenever I feel cheated by my own horoscope. (I share the sign of Cancer with Brezsny, and my theory is that he routinely gives us the smallest slice of opportunity to avoid the jealousy of the other 11 signs.) You can have that or any other horoscope you like. That’s the kind of liberty each new year gives us.
I don’t have much patience with the voluble naysayers telling us we’ll never live up to the resolutions we make in 2013. Of course we can. We have, at this moment in time, infinite possibility. As long as we live and breathe, we might do anything.
Margaret Tearman has given us just the story to suit the mood of the new year. Her tale of Calvert Countian Brian Wrabley Taking the Leap is exciting — and not only as one man’s story. It’s also a heart-leaping promise of possibility. If him, why not me? Or you?
I want that job, staff writer Ashley Brotherton told me this morning.
He made it for himself, I told her. You have to make your own.
What fun! It’s a new year and each of us can do just that. Anything is possible.
Sandra Olivetti Martin
Editor and publisher; firstname.lastname@example.org
P.S. Speaking of déjà vu, Tearman returns to our pages after an absence of six months. Meanwhile, in advertising, Marnie Hansen returns to Bay Weekly after a slightly longer absence: five-plus years.