At the door to the future

As the hours trickle away at the end of 2013 it feels right to take a few moments to consider the last year and look forward to the next.

The insistence on ‘celebrating’ the New Year is something that often feels forced and unnecessary. Why this night, of all nights do we force ourselves to stay up late and consume food and alcohol in the middle of the night – even when we were up early and have lived through an entire day first? There is an emptiness to the requirement to cheer and be merry at the stroke of the hand of a clock. This is probably why so many end up feeling low and unfulfilled by the New Year’s Eve experience. It never meets the unreal expectations set by film and television and media in general.

It is hard to imagine how much can change in a year – 365 days. Devastating health diagnosis, surprise pregnancy news, new homes, work changes – all of these things alone can spin one’s world on its axis. Together they leave a person reeling. So much difference that for once a New Year is unrecognisable from the previous one when it dawned. Hope and fatigue mingle in the tiny first hours of the newly born year and like the newborn child slumbering beside me, everything is depending on me to make it happen. But that is an enticing – if terrifying – challenge. I will put down this journal. And sleep. And meet the new day, new month, new year face on.