Tuesday, January 1, 2013

It’s a New Year, A New Day, A New Year’s Day

How do you feel about New Year’s Day? Are you excited and hopeful or have you become jaded about the entire resolution thing?

I watched part of the celebration in New York City and, of course, wanted to see the ball drop. Is it just me, or have they really blocked the view now with all the signs and advertisement? Last year, for some reason, I decided they had not shown the ball drop because I couldn’t see it. Paying closer attention this time, I saw the ball disappear behind the countdown clock and a tower’s worth of advertisements. Does anyone else think this is a rip off?

In addition, the host and hostess yammered on about how bad 2011 was and how hopeful everyone had been last year that the New Year would be better, but 2012 disappointed everyone too. And why did we think that 2013 would be any different? Geeze, why don’t we start out with a negative attitude—I’m sure that will make it all better.

Perhaps to some people, New Year’s Day becomes a lot like birthdays—the more you have of them, the less special they become. Well, sometimes if you have enough birthdays you get to have a big birthday celebration for landmark years—80, 85, 90, 95, etc. The New Year, on the other hand, is always the first chapter of another book.

I don’t know about you, but I always find New Year’s Day a time to plan ways to make it a better year. I cannot help it if I’m an optimist, and really why would I want to change that? I know it’s hard to feel optimistic, especially if you or a loved one are bogged down with depression or dealing with a serious illness.

Jim had health problems for many years and suffered from depression. Life sometimes seemed overwhelming for him. The one thing that kept him going was what he deemed “something to look forward to.” For him, something to look forward to was usually a road trip to visit his beloved family in Oregon or to camp in the Colorado Rockies. Weeks ahead of the trip, Jim would begin to spit shine and pack the van with everything we could possibly need.

One of the saddest things about Jim’s dementia was that he didn’t seem to be able to look forward to traveling anymore. We went to Colorado for a few years after Jim showed signs of dementia. After a total fiasco trying to pitch our tent, we stayed in hotels when we went to Estes Park. It wasn’t quite the same, and eventually, we substituted Branson vacations for longer trips.

Jim is the reason I love to travel. I’ll admit that our early trips were pretty much an endurance test. With limited funds and not so dependable vehicles, some of our trips were the kind of experiences that seem better in retrospect than at the time. Later, we learned to slow down and enjoy the scenery, or stop to see the local sights along the way.

Am I excited about 2013? You bet! This is going to be a year for a major life event for me. I plan to retire from my day job after 33 years, which will give me more time to spend with family, to travel, and to write. I’ve been so busy trying to fit everything in that the only time I’ve relaxed in months was while I was trying to fight off a bad cold. I sat on the couch and watched hours and hours of shows on my DVR. I watched an entire season of Leverage in two days!  The truth is that I have so little time to watch TV that I record everything and usually watch it when I should be in bed sleeping.

So, as Jim would say, I really have something to look forward to this year—time, the most precious of God’s gift. It is up to me to take it when it is offered.

Note: If you enjoy reading my blog, please vote for Early Onset Alzheimer’s  athttp://www.healthline.com/health/best-health-blogs-contest or click on the Vote for Me button at the top right of this blog. You can vote daily via Facebook or Twitter between now and February 15, 2013. The blog is currently in the top 10 so it is easy to find! The winning blog receives $1,000 which will just about pay for my annual trip to the Alzheimer’s Public Policy Forum in DC.

Copyright © Jan 2013 by L.S. Fisher

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