The Vicinity of Wonderful

This is it. My last post before 2011 fades away and 2012 becomes the year that we all joke about the end of the world. I had planned for something Deep and Meaningful. But that was before I remembered that the in-laws were going to be here from Michigan and that would mean day-long outings and running out of room in the refrigerator for yet another set of restaurant leftovers and a frantic search through my non-existent draft folder in the hopes of finding something Wonderful that I might have been saving. I looked. I found plenty of Somethings. But none of them were anywhere near the vicinity of Wonderful. Some were kind of Meh and a few gems were complete Disasters. More like an exercise in free-writing while high on expired Nyquil than something I'd like to share with the world.

So that leaves me to come up with Something New. And I'm hoping it's Deep and Meaningful.

I'm supposed to talk about those as-of-yet unbroken promises I haven't quite narrowed down to committing to for the immediate future. And buy some new running shoes so I can get to that new gym with the brand new membership I'm supposed to rush out to buy so I can fight for an elliptical machine until most have decided to wait until next January to try again, right? Or am I supposed to look back on 2011 and the stories shared, memories made, and goals achieved?

I could do that, except maybe I won't. Not because I'd rather avoid the imminent panic attack next December when I finally fall asleep wondering if the world will still be there for me to wake up to or if social media will be alive and well and pointing fingers at the Mayans for being total drama queens. And that's because this (read: the me having a Conspiracy Theory-worthy panic attack) will probably happen. I'm just wired that way.

I won't wax poetic about the end of the old and the start of the new simply because, for me, I feel caught in limbo. Between what and what, I have no idea. I just know that this feels like my last post of 2011 no more than the first one did and that this was the first year that my birthday was really just another day and maybe 34 is the year that the passing of time becomes nothing more than a measure of how fast my child is growing and not a direct reflection of myself or that last grey hair I pulled out.

If I didn't have a checkbook with what will probably be a month's worth of ruined checks during the 2012 honeymoon period while I retrain my brain to write the new year, I'd probably forget that anything has changed.

Buttercup and I were out shopping the other day when a store employee asked Buttercup how her Christmas had been. After the expected excitement and squeals and Santa Brought Me's, the employee smiled and asked Buttercup what she was doing to bring in the new year. Buttercup wrinkled her nose and blinked.

New Year? The look on her face told us both that she had no concept of what was being asked of her. She simple stood there for a moment while she tried to figure out for herself what this New Year was and how exactly one was supposed to Bring It In.

Finally, she smiled and her eyes brightened.

"But it's not June yet," she said, "and that's when my new year starts. I'll be five then. I'll probably have a birthday party with my friends. Right, Mama?" And  I told her that yes, she very probably would.