New Year’s Day. Many, if not most, of us spend this day in anticipation and reflection. Today I’m considering the failures and successes of the year that’s now finished. There are a few things I might go back and change if I could, and other things with which I’m deeply satisfied. For the most part though, 2014 was a year much like any of the years that preceded it. I just got through day by day and hoped I was doing the right thing.
Zeek and I have something of a mantra for 2015: “Fresh Start”. In four short weeks we will travel west and settle in the United States and begin a new way of living. My hopes for the new year are mundane; a decent place to live and good jobs for both of us. Beyond that, I reckon I’ll just let events unfold and try to deal with it the best way I can.
I’m looking forward to little things like central heating and cooling, water that’s drinkable right from the very tap, and sales tax that’s less than 16%! I’m damned near giddy with the idea of driving in traffic where everyone keeps inside the actual lanes painted on the roads and people don’t make right turns from the left turning lane and vice versa.
I can’t wait to have good ol’ southern barbecue, a big juicy burger from Hamburger Heaven and a hot dog from Nathan’s, and the dizzying array of selections at a good price from the supermarkets. I will visit markets that offer me cute socks in colors other than black, brown, or blue.
However, I will miss visiting the tailor downtown who will make pants or shirts for me that actually fit my misshapen body and cost less than a Walmart sale item made by slave labor in an Asian factory. And, I’ll miss the thousands of coffee shops and sharing coffee, arghileh and cards with the boys of a Thursday night.
At the top of the list though, is my Mother. I’ve missed more than five years of visits with her. Now, I can see her as often as I like (God have mercy on you, Mother) and swap stories and recipes and gossip, or just sit quietly over a cup of coffee and enjoy being in her presence. Sadly, I can’t recall the times I missed with Dad and I’ll never have that joy again. But, I won’t make the same mistake again with Mother.
New adventures, new friends, old friends, and familiar places beckon and I’ll do all in my power to make the best of them.
What are you looking forward to in 2015? What are you dreading? Do you see the New Year as a fresh start or just a continuation of days past? I hope you’ll make Ol’ Big Jim a part of your life in the upcoming year. I’ll do my best to keep you entertained and who knows? You might even find a story or two that brings a smile into your day. If you do, then I will have succeeded beyond my wildest dreams.
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