I've never really liked New Year's Eve. I'm so gushingly sentimental about everything that even the turning of a new year easily makes me misty eyed and melancholic.
The past two New Year's Eves - when I've been more than happy to leave the old years behind because they held broken dreams, grief and hopelessness in their clutches - I still felt twinges of sorrow as the ball dropped. I didn't want the dying years back, but the passing of time and the changing of the calendar made me feel so much farther away from Thomas.
Everything seemed so connected to him.
So I fully expected this year to be the same. But, like Christmas, it tricked me.
This year was easy. I've never in my life been so happy to bid an old year farewell. I felt no sorrow as the countdown began. Not even the tiniest bit. I just clutched my glass of sparkling Shiraz and waited for the relief of a fresh start.
I know today really isn't any different than yesterday. Not really. Yesterday was last year, but it was also just Monday.
However, as I lay in bed with my tiny Shiraz buzz on and my body unclenching just a little bit, all I could see stretched out in front of me was a brand new, sparkling white year.
As unblemished as they come.
I have no idea what the year holds for us - and I'm loathe to hazard a guess because life has this funny way of doing the unexpected and unthinkable - but right now, at 10:20pm on the first day of this impossibly young year, I feel good. Not necessarily hopeful, but not drained of hope either.
This year holds no evil for me. It's pristine. Sorrow hasn't wiped its bloody paws all over it yet, and there's every chance it won't.
Yes, yes, there's every chance it will. It is me we're talking about. But still, right now it's good. It's all good.
Minute to minute. That's the way to go.
Happy New Year!