Live New Today

Here we are. A new year. I woke up feeling weird about that. I think mostly I am annoyed. Annoyed by all the expectation that society holds for everyone to have this wonderful sense of hope for what’s to come on this day. Annoyed that every widowed person out there has to deal with the weight of that expectation as they manage to crawl across this annual threshold. It’s crappy. It’s crappy how much it upsets us. It’s crappy what a reminder it is to us, sometimes even more than Christmas, that our person is not here. 

I am grateful to have someone new to spend my New Year’s with now, but Mike being here doesn’t mean I don’t still feel crappy about all the expectation. So many people expect that because you have someone new, your life must just be magically super happy and you are 100% healed from missing your old person. Right. Because that works.

On the contrary, I have thought about Drew a lot over the past few days. Mostly now, it’s not a sadness that I don’t get to spend this time with him. It’s more a sadness that my best friend doesn’t even get to be alive to have a new year. That he got robbed of his time so quickly. Mostly, this is what I am sad about. He doesn’t to ring in another year of his own life. He should have gotten to have a longer life. It’s unfair, and it always will be. And I will probably always have some melancholy about this when I wake up on New Year’s Day.

Last year on this day, Mike and I took a long drive and explored some little towns north of us. We found a little hot dog restaurant to eat lunch at, and just enjoyed getting away to wander. I think that going out to explore new places helped us both, as we both had emotions stirring about the ones we have lost. It turned out to be one of my favorite New Year’s Days ever.

This morning, my mind has already been too focused on the million-and-one things that "need" doing. The Christmas tree needs to come down, house needs cleaned, dishes need washed... already I am annoyed to be thinking about this shit on the first day of the year. And so, we’ve decided to say the hell with all that, and do what we did last year. We're going to go explore for the day again. Someplace new. Pick a highway, and just drive and see what we see for a few hours. Wander some back roads. Find a place to eat we’ve never been before. Let life surprise us a little.

It’s a nice way to embrace this first day I think. Getting ourselves out there to see new things feels like we are honoring the ones we love who don’t have the chance to do that anymore. It honors us too, and the fact that we are still here and we deserve adventures in the short time we are living. So that’s what we’ll do. We will live something new today, taking them along with us in our hearts. 

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  • Penny Sharman
    commented 2017-01-02 08:13:16 -0800
    Sarah, your words “Mostly, this is what I am sad about. He doesn’t get to ring in another year of his own life” struck a chord with me. Like you, my sadness has changed from being sad for me to being sad for my husband and that he wasn’t able to ring in this new year. As the holidays approached this year, I realized my sadness, although present, had changed and I couldn’t put my finger on it. Your words were very timely and I thank you.
  • Lisa Richardson
    commented 2017-01-01 08:43:34 -0800
    What a great post. It captures how I feel exactly. I like the idea of taking a new road and exploring. Maybe I’ll do that today. Thanks for the inspiration!