January 1st has so many expectations, all those new year resolutions, a new year, a new start. Saying goodbye to the old and hello to the new. As a child growing up in Australia, we always celebrated big time, going to parties, holding parties, counting down the seconds with a glass of something in one hand and our friends and family by our side. The laughter and the excitement, in anticipation of the year ahead. I’m living in Ireland now and I was determined to continue ringing in the new year the same way and that held up well up to and including the millennium. My dearly loved Dad died that year, a relatively young man and suddenly, and the new year to end all new years for me became a year of great loss. I haven’t stayed up to greet the new year since, choosing instead to curl up in bed with a good book and my own company. Some I’ve smiled through, on hearing the distant fireworks, some I’ve cried through, or yelled “Will you all just shut up, some of us are trying to sleep”,and occasionally I’ve even slept soundly.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not the new year grinch. We all have to start somewhere and I like the idea of new beginnings. For me it is a year of hope and possibility. I don’t make new years resolutions anymore, well from now on. Do they ever work out I wonder. My last attempt was about six years ago, I was going to get fit and exercise. I bought the DVD, I bounded out of bed, I put the sweats on and started. Four routines but just start with one or two it said. One or two is for losers I decided, I did four. You’ll burn 1,000 calories it said, 1,000 calories my ass, that’s only if you include the ‘trying to drag yourself up off the floor at the end’ section. Day 2 and 2 sessions unenthusiastically, day 3 I watched 1 session, day 4 I smashed the DVD. So endeth my last serious resolution.
Last night I cried, for the year I was leaving behind, for the pain and sadness that has dogged me, a final purge and I cried for a very special lady. I have good memories of 2013, and learnt a lot, it’s not all been bad. Most importantly, I learnt that I’m not a horribly behaved person with no restraint or goodness. I’ve learnt that I should no more despise myself for my bipolar than I would for the restrictions a broken leg would place on me. That gave me a huge release, I’m kinder to myself, I stronger and more compassionate. I feared seeing a Psychiatrist and the possible looming mental illness, I was terrified in fact, but the very thing I feared most has also been my saviour. But I’ve had regrets, I’ve said and done things, I desperately wish I could back.
Today I’m blogging for the first time in ages, I have tried and I’ve several unfinished drafts, about depression and bipolar, about love and loss, but each time I got stuck. I’d got so wrapped up in writing something brilliant I forgot why I really blog and who I do it for. I do it for me, I do it because writing is the best way I have of expressing myself and it doesn’t matter who likes it, it only matters that I do.
So here’s to a year of magic, hope, possibility, and my 50th birthday, I’m excited and grateful and at peace with myself.