What Are You Doing New Year's Eve
But now it's not just the end of a writing experiment, but the end of the year. Wasn't an uneventful year; in fact, I'd say it was downright lively. We had the trip, and the other trip, Daughter streaked further away from any math I understand and Consort was clever about things which I can't actually explain. And then there was the book, and the Atlantic exerpt, the Wall Street Journal story, the Huffington Post, the TIME magazine story...
(In case you ever wondered who the hardest-working marketing person in publishing is, it's Melissa Broder.)
Good things happened.
Of course, there were also people who hated me, and hate my book, and think I wake up a half hour early every day just to bask in what a terrible parent I am. That happened, too.
And, in the end, another book is born and is off leading whatever sort of life it's going to lead, Daughter continues to blaze away learning more and more baffling things, and Melissa Broder goes on excelling at book-marketing. Consort will continue to improve businesses and occasionally fix the dryer (whoever wrote in suggesting the dryer would fail again, HOW DID YOU KNOW?). And me? Well, I'm back to where I started; figuring out what I do next, what I write next. Turns out that having written doesn't seem to lubricate the process for me; I'm cellularly certain I won't think of a book to write, and knowing I've transcended this feeling twice before makes not a whit of difference. I'm not intrinsically wired for any kind of faith and have all the courage of a guinea pig at a German Shepherd family reunion; my default path is "Don't screw things up." But I've tried that road too often in my life, and I know "Don't screw things up" quickly becomes "Don't do anything at all."
I had a pretty good idea of what 2012 would look like and while it was far better than I could have hoped, it was still the 2012 I had penciled in. Next year? No idea. If I want another adventure, I'm going to have to think it up and play it out; no one else can do this for me. This is galvanizing and terrifying and, candidly, I'd probably skip it were it not for one person; the kid. Every day that I wander around this house I'm showing her what it means to be an adult of the female persuasion. I need to show her that being an adult doesn't mean not risking, or learning something new. I don't want her to be the kind of person who measures out her curiosity with an eye-dropper and decides there's some age where she's locked in to her life and the rest of her life will be calcification and contraction. I want her to be cheerful, resilient, and adaptable; it behooves me to try for those characteristics as well.
Whatever your holiday was, I hope it was glorious (If you're Eastern or Greek Orthodox, I hope it will be glorious). And for everyone, may the the upcoming year be sprinkled with familiar and unfamiliar delights and that we all find some moxie and grit just when we need it.