Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Lost Year

Every year I take time to write down my New Year's resolutions. I have them in my journals dating back to 1998. I also like to write a few pages reflecting on the past year and thinking about what I hope will happen in the coming year. Those pages are a snapshot of my life at a point in time. And looking back on them at the end of the year helps me to see how far I have come.

I am one of those people who actually likes to stay home on New Years Eve. It is so much better than going to a crowded bar or a noisy party with a bunch of drunk people. This year I had planned to go to my sister's house for a few hours and then head home early to watch the ball drop. I was especially looking forward to sitting down and reading my thoughts from last year. As you know from following my blog, 2011 was not a banner year for me.

The first half of 2011 was spent driving back and forth to Indiana every week. It was the final chapter in a two and a half year ordeal of working for the Company. I hated that place and I hated my job. There were some weeks that I cried for most of the drive down there. Then I would work on site at the client all day and spend the evening trapped in my hotel room with my laptop. I was absolutely miserable.

It was also a rough year for my family, especially with my sister getting divorced. And with all of my traveling, I felt like I was never able to be there when my family needed me the most. I barely got to see my nieces and nephews. The few spare moments I had over the weekend were divided between my house, my family and spending time with the Boy.

The Boy and I struggled with our relationship for most of the year. It seemed like we got off on the wrong foot last New Years Eve and we never recovered. I really wanted to spend that New Years Eve at home, but the Boy wanted us to go out with his friends. Then I came up with an idea to get him to stay in with me. I told him that I thought it would be really cool to be having sex at midnight on New Years Eve.

I cannot believe that I am sharing this story, but it is for the good of all womankind. If you have ever considered such an idea, please learn from my mistake. It was by far the cheesiest thing I have ever done in my life. In my defense, I wasn't necessarily planning to go through with the idea, but the Boy was determined.

So, the Boy and I were in bed and we had New Years Rockin' Eve on in the background. It was getting close to midnight and the Boy made his move. He was laying on top of me and I hoped that maybe he would take a break right at midnight, but unfortunately he took my offer quite literally. I stretched my arm to reach the remote and I managed to turn the volume up just in time to hear Dick Clark's garbled voice counting down "Ten, nine, eight, seven..."

The Boy was still on top of me and now the covers were all bunched up and blocking my view of the TV. "Six, five, four..."  I struggled to find a better position for my head, but it was too late.  "Three, two, one..."

"Happy New Year," the Boy said.  And then he kissed me.

I didn't even get to see the ball drop. I have seen the ball drop in Times Square every year since I was old enough to stay up past midnight; back when Dick Clark was Ryan Seacrest's age. As I tossed and turned in bed later that night, I remember thinking to myself that 2011 was cursed. And I guess I was right about that.

After almost a year of trying to figure things out, I decided to end things with the Boy. I had planned to wait until after the holidays, but I could not bear the thought of ringing in the New Year of 2012 with the Boy when I knew that I would not be spending the rest of it with him.

We broke up two weeks before Christmas. The break up was fairly uneventful. We just rehashed a bunch of old arguments that we'd been having for the past six months. And I told the Boy that he needs to grow up. And that he needs to learn to communicate. And that I think he may have a drinking problem. All the while he stared blankly at me, occasionally tossing out a few passive aggressive comments. Which I was a little surprised to hear coming from him, but its like I always say, you never really know someone until you break up with them.

After all that, I was relieved to be spending this New Years Eve by myself. I went upstairs to get my journal and opened it up to read the last entry. It said 2010 New Year's Resolutions. I flipped through the pages again just to be sure. There was no entry for 2011. I thought back to that last New Years Eve I had spent with the Boy and how I planned to write in my journal the next day. But I was really struggling with what my resolutions should be and eventually I must have gotten distracted with work and never written them.

Suddenly I felt this tremendous sense of loss. After everything I went through in 2011, I had no marker to judge my progress against. No record of my hopes, wishes and dreams for the year. All I had were some ramblings from 2010 about how much I hated my job and how much I wanted to be with the Canadian. It was like 2011 never happened.

I was thinking about my lost year and it reminded me of my favorite show "How I Met Your Mother." The show is set up as a love story in reverse from the perspective of the father, a hopeless romantic named Ted Mosby. On the first episode he sits his kids down on the couch to tell them the story of how he met his wife, which of course ends up being a long story that takes the audience through the post-college adventures of Ted and his friends. Every time Ted meets a new girl, we wonder if she will be the one.

They are now into the 7th season and I have noticed that each season the writers add in a few filler episodes to draw the story out a bit. I call them "throw away" episodes because there is a lot of activity, but no real progress to move the story line forward. We all know that when Ted finally meets the mother, the show will be over. And as much as the viewers want to solve the mystery and find out who the mother is, we are not ready for the story to end.

So I guess I will look back on 2011 as my throw away year. Hopefully that means 2012 will have some major plot developments that will move my story line forward.


Anonymous said...

I think everyone needs a throw away year - at least you only have one. Unfortunately, your resolution was probably to break up with the Boy. . . would have saved some trouble if you had written that one down!

Anonymous said...

Heartbreaking! But if there ever was a year that didn't need to be immortalized, that was it ... Here's to a much more promising 2012!!!!