The year begins with a toast. Granted, my glass is filled with Coca-Cola instead of wine, but the sentiment is the same. I am surrounded by friends, my sister, and people I’ve only met this night.
I am physically present in this moment, but my mind is taking a trip down memory lane. Last year at this time I was telling my (now ex) boyfriend that for the first time in my life, I wasn’t anticipating the new year with hope and excitement. Instead, when peering into the murky depths of the future, I felt only a sense of dread.
My sense of dread was justified as 2011 turned out to be a very hard year. I didn’t have a transplant, but I did endure four months of cytotoxic drugs. I felt my body become weaker and weaker to the point where I had to admit I needed a walker for support. I moved to the first floor of my parents’ house so I could respect the fact that my legs couldn’t do the stairs anymore. I grieved the unexpected loss of a friendship I had valued greatly. And my eyes were opened to the fact that medical situations I hadn’t even imagined having to endure were likely in my future.
But now it’s 2012 and I’m wondering what stance to take on the upcoming year. What will the new year bring? Will I be strong enough to handle the unknown?
Somehow, despite the fact that the year now behind me reinforced my beliefs about the uncertainty of life, I am oddly hopeful again. I don’t know all that is coming this year and I have good reasons to be fearful, but I look at the people around me and I am not.
My mind returns to the present moment as I realise that this is all I can handle right now. At this moment, the future is far away and can’t hurt me. At this moment, I am happy and hopeful. I can’t control all the moments that are coming, but I can enjoy the moments of joy I find myself in.
The first night of 2012 ends after more Coca-Cola, Glee karaoke and a couple of chapters of a book that makes me laugh. I fall asleep without difficulty and 2012 is off to a hopeful start.