Happy New Year to everyone! No sooner have we drawn a collective sigh of relief that the seemingly cursed 2016 is over, then we realise that 2017 carries the hangover of 2016’s unresolved problems plus bringing many new ones of its own.
The loss of so many cultural heroes has saddened me, but I wonder if some of us are mourning something more than that: a loss of innocence, perhaps, and the triumph of cynicism and mediocrity. I haven’t felt this traumatised since the early 1990s in Romania, when the initial euphoria over the burial of the old world order degenerated into frustration and puzzlement as the new order refused – despite repeated additional chances we gave it – to show anything truly new or valuable.
My Christmas was surprisingly calm, even though it was a calm based on avoidance. The atmosphere was equally as indifferent and frosty as over the past 4-5 years, but this time it was not thwarted with dashed expectations. So I read a lot and ran my own programme of events (some by myself, some with the youngsters) without worrying about keeping the rest of the family fed, washed, educated and entertained (OK, I still had to do the first three, but I did it less obsessively than in previous years).
I know I should have some goals or resolutions for the New Year, and that sharing them here might mean I stand a better chance of actually achieving them. And yet, like every year, I have just the one resolution (or call it hope): that 2017 is going to be my best year yet, the year of changing and growing and learning… and finding the odd moments of contentment, peace and satisfaction.
Hope is the feeling we have that the feeling we have is not permanent. (Mignon Mclaughlin)
I have 2017 reasons to make the most of this next year. No, don’t worry, I won’t share them all with you! Merely the first two, the greatest of my reasons: two rapidly growing boys who deserve to know a happier, more optimistic, more successful, less resentful, more active, healthier mother than she has been over the past 6-7 years (for more than half of their lives).