A new year, possibilities and promises, for many of us a few days to catch your breath, remember that you’re a person with a job and not your job, a person with problems and not your problems. It’s the one time of the year where we all silently agree to pretend that we have more faith than we do in the idea that we make choices, and our choices do not make us.
I am as happy as everybody else to see 2015 go. In my small world, I went through an episode of major depression, was very frustrated with my job for long stretches, and got very ill twice. On a larger scale, I found myself more emotionally distressed by the unrest and conflict in the world than any other year of my life. I did not understand the language of national paranoia of the late ’60’s (think Joan Didion’s The White Album) until experiencing this year.
So, green shoots. The time off has done its work, and I’m ready to go back to my routines and begin again. It’s incredible how reassuring and grounding our daily routines can be. There is this apropos/revolting term that I see online a lot, “adulting,” which is a wide-eyed incredulity that somebody out there trusted you to take care of yourself, and then—surprise upon surprise!—you actually did. In both the best and worst senses of the term, being grateful to go back to routine, like an escaped dairy cow led back to the pen, is adulting at its highest.
I did make resolutions, just a handful. I don’t want to make them public, they are hard and they are big. What I will say is that at all of their roots is courage and bravery.