The fireworks just ended. Moments ago. I noticed the clock on my computer and the time on my phone are a full minute apart. As a result, strangely, my phone entered 2017 before my computer did. My dogs are snoozing on my lap, unimpressed and unconcerned. The “booms” and “pops” of the fireworks didn’t interrupt their sleep nor trouble their dreams. They didn’t open an eye. Or even twitch.
I, however, twitched.
Here we go. Another year.
All that pristine snow spread out before me. No pathways have been forged to guide me in any specific direction. A chapter in an unwritten book. A meandering book with a horrible plot; one that isn’t likely to inspire anyone, nor to have a Hollywood ending.
I’m standing on the cusp of this new year. Alone. Except for my dogs sleeping on my lap, snoring peacefully. I am thankful for their company.
And so begins another year.
I’ve begun quite a few of them in my lifetime. Ended them too. But there will come a a time when I will enter a year I will not finish. I will glimpse it, if only briefly, but not see it through to the end. In fact, this could be that year. The one I have just started with fireworks and dogs snuggled on my lap. The one my phone entered before my computer.
I am hesitant to move forward, to leave footprints. I don’t know where to go.
I have two overwhelming concerns. There are two opposing forces at work, pulling my thoughts first in one direction, then in another.
First thought: I don’t have any control. It’s all been decided. I simply need to walk and nature or fate will take me where I’m destined to go.
Second thought: I will probably make a mess of it because I have too much control. I’m sure to get off course, take a wrong turn, do the wrong thing, go where I shouldn’t go.
No control. It feels as if my path has been predetermined. As if there’s nothing I can do to change the footprints I will leave behind once I take the first step forward. It doesn’t seem to matter the direction I might take. Somehow, it feels as if the script has already been written. Written without my input. I am but a puppet on the stage, waiting for the strings to be pulled. Those who hold the strings will propel me to do what I must. What is required. The strings someone else pulls will determine the path I take because past choices have determined future options.
Too much control. I’m good at making messes. At fighting the strings. At walking in the wrong direction. I will walk forward as best I can, but it’s hard to take the first step with any degree of confidence. I don’t want to mess up the snow. I’m very good at messing up the snow.
And so begins another year.
The fireworks ended but a moment ago, marking the new year. And yet, the fireworks ended long ago. Long, long ago. Before they even had a chance to get started.
I take a deep breath.
I take a step.
I enter the new year quite some time after my phone. And after my computer.