Monday, December 29, 2008

New Year's, Shmoo Year's

Last year's New Year's post ended by stating I was a damned Monkey's Uncle if you were gonna catch me on the record saying, "Well, at least things can't get any worse." I prophetically went on to say that I really had no hopes or horizon, so '08 was a big empty slate.

And guess what? '08 turned into a big empty slate.

As I lie here on the sofa overwhelmed by the Christmas cleaning, cramps, lingering nausea from some bug that crept through the house last week, and a mild itchy throat, I decided to roam around in the computer and landed upon a fartload of New Year's related entries: lists, pictures, predictions, resolutions. And I stare at them all with an even more increasing sense of nausea, realizing I did nothing in '08. And I didn't even have an excuse.

Maddy died February '07. So I think it was valid that the rest of '07 -- and hell, even the first little bit of '08 -- was spent trying to exist. Functioning. Getting out of bed. Circling through the endless litany of "firsts" without Maddy -- holidays, birthdays, memorial services. Family falling to wayside, births, pregnancy announcements. No wonder I didn't do anything.

But '08? I think I was supposed to do something. Create something. Decide something. Complete something meaningful. Just pick up the fucking phone already. I thought maybe after a year, I would think -- you know, just think -- about having another baby, make up a tidy pro/con list or something. To be honest, I really didn't think about it at all. I've tried to figure out how in hell's name I spent my '08 and here's what I've come up with:

-- I made it through one year without Maddy
-- I took two trips
-- I started writing on another blog
-- I barely avoided foot surgery
-- I oversaw the renovation of the back half of my house
-- I hosted two neighborhood parties
(well, three if you include the Dog Party)
-- um, and, uh, hmmm. Give me a sec.

Things, for the record, I did not do that I probably should have:

-- thought about having another baby, even if the answer was "Fuck no."
-- lost some weight. Some. Meaning, like, even 5 pounds.

Things I probably should do, but calling them "Resolutions" sorta makes it really daunting and takes the interest totally out of it for me:

-- get organized. My house, today notwithstanding, is neat but an organizational nightmare.
-- make a boatload of medical-related appointments. You know, things like, oh, the dentist.
-- lose weight. Seriously, this is just fucking depressing.
-- work on a few rooms in my house that I can tackle by myself.
-- think about -- what's that thing called again? You know, when you work? And someone sends you a check worth some money? That thing you were going to do when Maddy turned six months old, which if things had gone right would've landed on about August '07? Oh right, A JOB.

It's not like I haven't had time, it's that I've completely totally lacked interest. And like I said here, I can't think more than two weeks in advance. You know what I've thought about '09? Here it is in all it's champagne-sparkle: I have some appointments planned the first week. And Bella has a party on January 17th.

That's it.

That's what I think about '09. There is a big lot of nothing behind me, and big lot of nothing ahead of me, and it's just conspiring to depress the hell outta me today. On my horizon in '09, I go through another round of February dates. And then I turn 40. '09 sounds like a steaming pile thus far, and that's only through March. Frankly, I rather hate it already. Mind if I just sulk in this limbo week for a while longer? You think if I don't buy a calendar I can somehow deny '09's existence?

For some cruel reason we've already committed to going to two (two!) New Years' Parties (thankfully both within walking distance, because otherwise what's the point, yes?), and I'm now wondering how on earth I'm going to get through either with a straight face.

At least in '08 I didn't have a baby who died. And that's gotta count for something.


Mrs. Spit said...

Nope, you did one more thing, you made me smile, and made me realize I could cope with this. . .

Here's to a better 09.

G$ said...

Dealing with the kitchen and the foot was more than most could handle. I still fully expect pictures, thank you very much.

2009 will be better. Repeat after me: 2009 WILL be better FFS


luna said...

that actually counts for a lot. and I'm with mrs. spit, you gave a lot of support here this year. that counts too.

my 40th is in may, and it can just kiss my fat arse right now, as far as I'm concerned...

k@lakly said...

Two New Years parties in walking distance?! Now that's something to celebrate:)
Seriously tho, I have heard the second year is harder b/c everyone just assumes you should be over everything(because, you know, it should only take a year to get over something small and inconsequential like having your baby die...argh)so that support network, small as it may be is gone and because the permanence of the loss and the sorrow set in.
Give yourself a break Tash, you weathered an enormous heartache, remained an incredible Mom to Bella and an incredible source of comfort to all of us who read. I'd say that's plenty for now. The rest, fuck it. It'll happen when you're good god damn ready.
If I could, I'd come over and have a cocktail but instead I'm planning on raising my glass to you and the other db moms who give each other a reason to even dare to hope that another year will be better. Hell, I think I'll raise the whole friggin bottle. You deserve it tenfold.

The Turtle and the Monkey said...

I could have been reading about me. I was just thinking about this the other day. I spent this year trying to survive. As far as '09, I don't know. I really should get something done.

I think you are doing what we all are. We are figuring out how to survive and what our lives will be after. Be gentle with yourself. You will tackle all of the things on your list when you are ready.

not undecided said...

You opened my eyes! I've lurked here for a while and cried with you or for you many times as I caught up on your story.

I had a m/c in '06 and have let finances be an excuse to not even think about trying again. So I think you're fully within reason to take however long you need or want to even think about thinking about it. Whatever and whenever you decide, thank you so much for sharing.

Sharon said...

Your list made me smile - if I had accomplished that much in the past year I would feel like I had done something. I have raised a family since my baby loss 29 years ago Christmas Eve. My youngest is in college, and I've been trying to start a new career for 16 months...I feel like there is nothing in front of me because everything that matters is behind me. May something good happen for all of us in '09.

Amy said...

I'm sooo with Mrs. Spit on this one!

Thank you for supporting me this year and being here for me to read about!

Cheers to a better '09, one that brings us ALL that we wish for or pretend to think about!

sharah said...

I'm not sure if this was the direction you were going in, but you might want to google 101 things in 1001 days. Basically, you make a list of the things you want to do in the next 1001 days (~2.75 years) and then try to do them. It's a lot less intimidating to me than new year's resolutions. And at 2 years in to my list, I'm just revamping it and starting over. Much less pressure, and it helped me get to thinking about what I wanted out of life in the longer term.

JW Moxie said...

See, here's the thing about crossing over into a new year - it's just time, and that flows incessantly. Going into a new year only cranks up a notch on the calendars and clocks. It doesn't set off some big alarm which screams YOU SUCK if (in your eyes) you feel like you got nothing much accomplished. And on that note - I would beg to differ. I've only "known" you for half of 2008 and I think you've done quite a lot. Give yourself some credit where credit is due. You had big things to get through and overcome. That, I think, counts for a helluva lot. I could tell you some lovely stories about a toadstool who shall remain nameless *coughmysister* who truly did absolutely jackdiddlysquat nada in 2008. Or 2007, or 2006, for that matter. And she was/is nowhere near db land.

So for what it's worth, I think you've done a lot, and the work you've done and are doing on the inside is what matters the most.

CLC said...

I think your list is pretty significant. Renovation is not easy work!!
And seriously, why do we have to have goals every freakin' year? I think just surviving is a good enough goal, given the circumstances!

loribeth said...

What they all said. :) Sometimes it's enough just to survive.

Gal said...

You helped to bring me into this fold, Tash... that's worth a lot (to me at least). And you made me laugh a ton. And the list of things you did do is big enough for anybody. And don't forget mothering Bella - that's huge (I know, I have one too). One two-week period at a time... it's called living in the present. Everyone else who thinks they can plan further than that is delusional and hasn't known what it is to have plans shatter into a million pieces. I'm with you on new year's... Let's see if I even make it to midnight this year.

c. said...

I feel as you do, like I haven't accomplished one damn thing this year. 2008 was a total bust for me. I want to say it can't get any worse, but hell if I believe that. It can. It absolutely can. I just hope it doesn't.

Hoping you party it up at not one, but two New Year's Eve parties this week. If you're in the neighbourhood (it's a long walk, I realize) you can stop by here. I've got a date with a few martini's and B.and 2. I'll even let you have the mic, if you want.

To better things in 2009, Tash. XO.

AnotherDreamer said...

I hope 2009 is better for you, for me, for everyone. I think we could all use a good year right about now.

Edenland said...

You have been inspiring, thoughtful, brave, strong, weak, and beautiful.

You are amazing.

niobe said...

It's that forest/trees thing.

You're not giving youself enough credit for all the stuff you've accomplished, stuff that might be hard to compress into a tidy list.

charmedgirl said...

i read your post and the entire time just thinking, i'm having the same problem, essentially: since my baby died, it's been impossible to pretend that i can really plan and accomplish big, meaningful shit...which means my life is the regular day to day, which seems meaningless and like nothing at all really...but i've also concluded that i'm a bit closer to the whole meaning of life zen stuff that that's what life really is, just being present...but i'm just so not used to feeling anything about's kinda anti-american. we need to PLAN! IMPLEMENT! ACHIEVE! even when we don't, it's because we've RE-EVALUATED! we've REVISED! i'm so past living in the future, yet still don't feel comfortable *in the moment.*

resolution for 2009: no resolutions.

Newt said...

Thanks for being there for me, too, this year, Tash.

And I think you should count taking care of Bella much higher. You're an extraordinary mom in incredibly trying circumstances. That's an accomplishment for the ages.

Anonymous said...

Please be nicer to yourself, woman!

If you give yourself permission to just breathe, I promise you everything that you DO do will seem that much more fulfilling.

Vanessa said...

My crap year also began in 2007. My daughter is alive but severly disabled. I was sure it would get muche easier...after all...i'm a SURVIVOR!!! right? well it doesn't and i hated christmas and expecially hate new yr, b/c it only get minutely easier. I think we all expect the hurt to go away, but it only slows down...very slowly! Glad to read your blog! :) Beautiful name by the way, my daughter is GIuliana

Life in Eden said...

Yes, what they all said. And Niobe's that forest-trees thing too.

You have achieved a lot -- most importantly mothering your wonderful girl, loving Mr. ABF and working toward some degree of healing. That's a lot.

And as far as I'm concerned, New Year's is just another day on the calendar. Don't give it too much significance -- except as an excuse to get sloshed!

Aurelia said...

You left something important off of your list--being a fulltime awesome mom to Bella.

And that is no small accomplishment. So let's not completely write off 2008.

Anyway, if you do want to change some other things, and I have my own set of things to change, then yes, a calendar will help to start, and maybe a list. Just don't make the list too long or complex or like me, you may say to hell with it.

With my calendar, I start by putting all the birthdays, memorial days, and anniversaries, etc I need to remember, then I add the school dates, and work dates for hubby. Eventually I add in the fuzzier stuff like, exercise, or organize my things, etc.

missing_one said...

Yup, I feel ya!!!

Although I can't really say I didn't have a baby that didn't die this year...well, maybe it wasn't a baby, but whatever..gray area I guess....okay rambling now

08 was just blah! don't you think?

Julia said...

So you would think I would feel all accomplished about 2008, but I really don't, either. In fact it was as strange to me to write "2008" on a check a week ago as it was nearly a year ago. Insane. Like it was a phantom year. Oh, and on my calendar for 09? The anniversary and JD's business trips. Fun times.

But I have to agree with everyone else about you-- forest/trees, not enough credit. Hope you are starting to get nice and drunk sometime soon.

And may 09 be a better year. A much better year.

Alice said...

Wish I could offer you some comfort but I can't really. So I'm just sending you my love. Alice

Sarah said...

I prefer to try to limit my fuck-ups, rather than set the high bar of the resolution. And I prefer said limitations to be on minor, but sometimes annoying things. #1 on my list this year will be to only write the wrong date on a check 5 times. #2 might be something to the tune of I will only watch When Animals Attack a total of 7 times for the whole year.
I just like to start each year with the acknowledgment that I am going to screw up, sometimes significantly. The best I can do is damage control.

Val said...

Try not to sweat the big 4-0 too much. For me personally, I was more traumatized by 30!
But talk about yer big empty slates - I've been coasting for the last FOUR AND A HALF YEARS; but I suppose sheer survival counts for something, right?!?

Unknown said...

tash- you have 2 blogs that are so many people's lifelines out there in blogland. your words have helped me countless times whether its a comment on our blog or the writings on yours. i want to thank you for being part of our support system out here in babylost land. we're so new to this and need people like you.

i hope you had fun at your new years parties. you deserve it. we all do. we managed to have a nice new years despite it not being the way we expected it to be.

here's to abundance for all in '09