In 1989, I met a girl named Renee on December 30th, and we spent the next four years in a relationship. On December 31st of that year, she took me to a party and we stopped at her friend’s house, where everyone was given a bottle of Martini & Rossi Asti Spumante.
Tonight marks the 22nd consecutive New Years Eve that I’m breaking open a bottle of Asti. Last year, I bought 2 bottles, in hopes that I would be celebrating yet another bad ending and an optimistic beginning. Tonight, I find myself in the same boat. Looking back at a bad year and ahead with optimism. But this year, more optimistic than hopeful.
This year ended just as it had begun; a 3 month stretch of not seeing the kids and the War Of The Roses, still Raging. I spent the year at the same hateful job, in the same overloaded position, the same low pay, everything the same. I struggled to pay bills and end this year behind on all of them, again. I struggle with untreated depression and aching loneliness and an overall empty feeling.
So, what’s different? Why does 2012 bring expectations instead of just wishful thinking?
Well, for one, I’m starting a new job next week. A little better pay. A lot better atmosphere. An appreciative boss and instead of filling the role of a manager, but not being recognized as one, I come to this new place in charge of my department.
I made some friends this year that I know have my best interests at heart. Friends that think about me when I’m not around, and I about them. People that are pulling for me. And praying for me. Which brings me to my most profound change in attitude. After years of lying to myself and anyone that would listen about how “spiritual” I am, with the help of my new friends, I’ve taken a step towards God and a truly spiritual life. One step, the first of many, and I have my fears. Letting go is never easy for me. Trust is not easy for me. Belief in anything is not easy for me, but I’m looking and moving in the right direction.
There are still setbacks. My truck is in the shop with an 800.00 repair bill, but I have the kids this weekend. And Bridget actually started talking sensibly for a change.
So I take my first sip of this year’s Italian nectar and I toast you, Jim & Loni, Kevin, Chris & Cyd, Pastor and the people at the church and everyone else that’s had an impact on my life this year.
Happy New Year and God, Bless each and every one.
From December 31, 2011