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Saturday, December 31, 2005

A Swan-Song For 2005

I woke this morning in a terrible panic. We've reached the end of the calendar year 2005, and I haven't got a single memory of personal greatness that leaps out at me, screaming "This! I did this!"

My kids alternated between being dinosaurs and bickering in the living room as I curled my hands around a mug of coffee and sent my mind searching through the months. Nothing. I've got nothing.

Last New Year's Eve, I was flippant, declaring myself unfit for resolutions, and congratulatory toward myself for refusing to bow to convention. No goals for me, no way. I cheerfully rejected the notion, knowing that my pattern of set-aside goals would likely continue. I was fine with that.

Or so I thought. I bumbled and bluffed my way through the year, bodysurfing on the little waves, but careful not to end up with any sand in my bathing suit. I started and abandoned projects over and over. My year is littered with the tatters of my good intentions. Frankly, I'm disappointed in myself. Aiming low seems like a lousy idea, now.

At BlogHer 2005, I met a slew of 'ordinary' people who were doing extraordinary things. The taste of my coffee carried me back to July, when I drank endless cups of coffee as I developed countless crushes and felt myself grow inside. Did I honor that spirit this year? Did I take advantage of my personal growth?

As the caffeine got my blood percolating this morning, I envisioned myself doing a slow-motion base-jump off the swingset with my children's rainbow parachute to slow my descent. A comical, possibly earth-shaking proposition, but not the proper punctuation for my year. Not the sort of thing that you point to as your major accomplishment for the year. My kids, however, would think it was an awesome personal statement.

This is why we'll gather the kids and start a new family tradition tonight. I've got a notebook for each family member. We'll decorate the covers, and then we'll open the books and write down our resolutions. As the New Year dawns, I'll tuck my children into bed, and tuck the notebooks away, after copying down the resolutions they contain. We'll revisit these resolutions, again and again. Next New Year's Eve, when we open our notebooks and add our new resolutions, hopefully we'll have a sense of accomplishment and pride in our follow-through.

And I won't be left with a zero hour inspiration to leap off of anything.

Happy 2006!

Jenny Lauck

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