Posted by: Kate | December 31, 2009

Contented, Serene, Convivial, Not-Unhappy New Year

There are only about 7 1/2 hours left in 2009.  This is OK with me; I’m ready to flip that calendar to a new year.

The last several months were wonderful.  A new job for Willem, new apartment for us all (which I stubbornly and persistently love, despite obnoxious neighbors and too little space, because it is a house that is not a cookie-cutter clone of 14 other houses in the neighborhood and was built in 1910 and is in an area I desperately want to continue living in, not to mention symbolizing positive, forward movement in our lives), new baby on the way… even when I have, like I did the other day, moments of unhappiness and stress, they are fleeting and only serve to remind me of just how much better my daily, baseline mood has been.

The first half of the year… not wonderful.  Unemployment, chronic pain with a permanent and untreatable diagnosis, apparently infertility, a child with an official attention disorder, family conflict, loss of a beloved grandfather, a big-bad falling out with the in-laws… and that’s only the headline news; the side articles weren’t fun and happy, either.  The depression I experienced was darker and heavier than anything I’ve experienced since my early 20s, and there were moments during which I truly feared for my long-term health.

I’m grateful, though that word seems so pathetic and inadequate for the magnitude of gratitude I feel, that things turned around.  That life is not only bearable again, but good, to the point where I wouldn’t trade with anyone else and I couldn’t blame someone if they were to have envy.  That my relationship with my husband not only survived, but thrived beyond the hard parts.  That I smile, sometimes, just because I feel good, even when there’s no one around to see.

So I cannot consider 2009 a complete failure; the events of the latter half of the year make it a banner year.  But it was an extremely bipolar year, swinging from bad to good so fast I could barely keep up.  I consider the Fourth of July seizure I had to be a turning point, an electric switch flipping from one extreme to another.  I don’t expect, or wish, for 2010 to bring a continuation of the constant stream of good news and excitement that the past few months have brought; in fact, I would be happy to have a dimmer switch installed, at a cosmic level, allowing me to keep things on an even keel for a while.

Barring that, then I’ll just hope.  For contentment and serenity in the new year, as opposed to outright, glittery, sunshine-and-rainbows happiness all the time.  For safety and contentment for my friends and loved ones.  For health, as much as humanly possible, to myself and my family and my friends.

And if I can ring out 2010 with a comparable level of gratitude and lack of regret, then I will be a very, very fortunate woman, indeed.



  1. Happy New Year, Kate. I hope 2010 is a hopeful, positive year for you!

  2. Happy New Year! I hope it’s a more even-keel happy. You really have had a bunch of ups and downs — but at least 2009 is ending on an up.

  3. You’re a fortunate woman indeed Kate. And 2010 holds all sorts of promise. Happy new year indeed.

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