Tiny Coconut

I have things.

Friday, December 31, 2004


So, this is it. 2004's swan song. Here in LA, it's a very wet, chilly song, and I'm sitting in my kitchen (gotta love the laptop) listening to its beat...the steady drip, drip, drip of water from a nearby beam onto a towel I'll need to change in a little while.

If I were to use today as a measure, 2004 wasn't the best year. Water seems to be the devastating theme to its end--and no, I don't mean my leaky kitchen. The tsunami tragedy is so far beyong my ability to feel or comprehend that I can't even begin to wrap my mind around it, much less my words. Still, I look at the photos and feel the waves of pain that emanate from so far away--and yet so near in so many other ways--and I ache and think, god, I hope this isn't a portent of things to come.

Ending the year with all these watery losses doesn't, however, erase all that came before. Here in the TC household, if 2004 wasn't exactly a benchmark year, neither was it utterly forgettable. I turned 40 this year. I wrote a book, and saw it published. I got help for the anxiety that threatened to overcome me, and have mostly managed to subdue it. (I'm jumping out of my skin today, of course, as if to remind me that it's not all going to be smooth sailing from hereon in. There are reasons--good reasons, though mundane, work-related reasons--but it's clear I still haven't quite got a handle on this.) My children are healthy, and growing in so many directions. My husband and I have reconnected in ways I wasn't really sure were still possible.

Tonight, I'll say goodbye to 2004 surrounded by my family and a most special group of friends, who have been with me through both the gains and the losses. Tomorrow, I'll welcome in 2005 at Tamar's house, and if there's anyone who can remind me that beginnings are good, and that you never know what or who is around the corner, it's Tamar, who I knew only as a talented online writer last year at this time, and today am proud to call my friend.

When I was a kid, I hated change. I hated endings. I was scared of beginnings. I was the only kid in school who used to cry each year on the last day...not just in first and second grades, when that might be more understandable, but in junior high school. By the time I'd hit high school, I was able to hide the tears, but the last day of school was always wrenching for me, and the first day always terrifying.

I don't cry at endings now, but I still dread them. And beginnings still scare me. And so it is with a little sadness and a certain amount of trepidation that I mark this relatively artificial ending and it's equally artificial beginning with my fingers crossed, my roof leaking, and my heart aching for people I've never met, going through something I can't imagine. Here's hoping my fears prove unfounded, and that 2005 holds untold joy and only the happiest of new beginnings.

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