And as the fireworks explode in a blaze of glory / It’s a brand new year

And thus ends the longest vacation that Mike and I have had together since our honeymoon. Of course, we didn’t go anywhere, or do much of anything, which was one reason it was so glorious. We had a lovely Christmas, and after that, we spent the rest of the break sleeping in, enjoying the sales, watching movies we’d been given (Once, Waitress) or that we wanted to see (Juno, which was very good) . . . just relaxing. About halfway through our time off, Mike said, “We’re going to have to come up with ideas for things to do in the summer.” Too true. All we did was sit around. We aren’t used to having so much time for activity. What do people do? Also, how is anyone going to convince us to have kids after all this wonderful sleeping in? I hear all you parents complaining about the lack of sleeping in all the time. Go ahead, try to convince me. I will be having some quality time with my flannel sheets.

One very nice thing is that, while we didn’t agree on everything, we didn’t bicker. It used to be that when we spent a lot of time together, we’d end up sniping at each other a little bit, but even the stress of the holidays didn’t turn us on each other. It’s a nice thing to be able to take note of, especially since our schedules are going to basically be the same.

Some people believe in ending the old year the way you’d like the new year to go – fresh haircut, full tank of gas, full pantry. We did that to some extent, cleaning things on New Year’s Eve, making a lot of soup to freeze, making a grocery store run. Our Christmas decorations always come down on the 1st, and Mike, who gets projects in his head and is unstoppable, reorganized our upstairs, cleaned out his side of the closet, and went to Goodwill with all our unwanted stuff that had been piling up. I, um, ironed. And read a book. I did help with the Christmas stuff! I feel ready for the year ahead, which promises some exciting things, namely Mike’s graduation (he can tell you how many days, exactly, if you are wondering). I didn’t feel much like reflecting on the past year, mostly because it took some unexpected turns at the end that I am still adjusting to, but I am thankful for a chance to make a fresh start.

When we went to see Juno, four girls came in during the previews and sat on the row right behind us. They proceeded to talk and talk and talk. One of them said, “Is this the commercials?” and her friend responded, “Yeah, it’s the trailers.” This concerned me, because I realized that it meant that they had no problem talking through the entire movie, and I didn’t have any of these. And, indeed, they did proceed to chat through the first part, until I turned around and said, “I didn’t pay good money to listen to you talk through the entire movie.” They were moderately more quiet after that. On the way home, Mike and I talked about that situation. I asked him if he had been planning on doing something. His plan? Move to the row behind them and kick their seats. You see the difference between us. He asked me why I didn’t just say, “Please stop talking,” and, you know, I have no idea why I didn’t say that. This is my problem – I get so worked up that I just blow my top and say rude things. If this is how I end the year (and it wasn’t just this one time), I can’t help but think that it’s a sign that this is something that needs some attention in my life.

I don’t make resolutions, especially public ones, but it is nice to face a new year (fresh with no mistakes in it) and imagine the ways that you can learn and change and grow. I hope that, at the end of this year, I’m a little further along, a little bit more patient and kind. And I hope I remember not to holler down the stairs when I want to talk to Mike. Seriously, that is such a bad habit.

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