On the other hand, I embark on my ideas for 2012 thoughtfully, but in good spirits, and for that, I have last night to thank. Yes, I am so tired now I'm nearly catatonic; I needed to sleep until noon, at least, after getting to bed not much before 5AM, and didn't get the chance to do that. But I can sleep in tomorrow. Last night, I went to a New Year's Eve party hosted by some friends of mine - several dozen people, party at their house, nothing really out of the ordinary. But in the many hours of that evening, in addition to sampling some delicious treats and getting a kick out of getting all dressed up and seeing others in their finery as well, I got to enjoy a number of blessings on which I don't reflect enough.
One friend turns out to be a truly accomplished pianist, and spent an hour playing accompaniments for every Christmas carol, Auld Lang Syne, and one Journey hit, while a roomful of people sang along - three, four, and five verses of some of the loveliest carols, including the first verse of Adeste Fideles in Latin. When I looked around and realized a good dozen of my friends have those words memorized, it warmed my cold little heart. I got to get to know better some truly lovely people, and catch up with some people I already know to be wonderful. I got to be at least a spectator to little bits and snatches of innocent intrigue as new romances may, perhaps, be formed, which I always find so delightful. And after the bulk of the revelers had gone home, a small group of us sat around and chatted for an hour, making predictions for 2012, pondering our resolutions, and generally enjoying one another's company.
The gathering was notably lacking a number of people - that is, all the ones with children. I believe several of those couples got together to hang out with the kids asleep all in one house, which is just as it should be - babysitters are prohibitively expensive on New Year's Eve, I know, and that sounds like a nice evening too. But the 5AM bedtime, rousing rounds of carols, and tuxedos and gowns were particular to the party I attended. While everyone's favorite comments about childlessness affording blessings like sleeping in and time to oneself are of course empty and therefore obnoxious, there are real advantages that I often forget.
Because I don't have to dedicate my time and energy to raising children, my time is always available for the other adults in my life whom I love. The joy of spontaneous small gatherings is available to me in ways it would not be if I were a mother. I've developed friendships with wonderful people whom I would never even have met were I home taking care of children. I've gotten to remain a part of the lives of my single friends whom I would nearly never see if we had a family to attend to. I'm not sure why the mommy crowd says things like, "Be glad you get to sleep in," instead of, "Be grateful for the opportunity to get to know wonderful new people," but perhaps they simply are not aware of the blessing they're missing in that regard. Today, I am, and I'm grateful.
So, on to 2012. I think I've screwed up every resolution I've had in the past, so quickly and so badly that I've never even gone back to check how I'm doing. I'm sure this year will be no different. Nevertheless, I'm doing it again:
1. Finish my HCG shots, quit fertility treatment, and go on a drug regimen to manage my endometriosis.*
2. Get to daily Mass before work - maybe not every day, but a whole lot more than not at all.
3. Write and submit for publication at least one law review article.
4. Fit into the formal dress I bought in 2008, and find an occasion to wear it.
5. Remodel my kitchen.
6. Persuade my husband to throw a party at our home at least every other month.
7. Be more punctual for work.
8. Be a better wife.
That probably covers enough things (that are moderately within my control) to cover what I'd like to see in 2012, and to ensure that I will make no serious pretense of completing the list.
*If you feel even mildly tempted to suggest that I should consider a third laparotomy instead, I invite you to ponder the fact that only a raving lunatic would find major surgery preferable to medication, and I am crazy, but not that crazy. In some ways, the IFosphere is seriously cracked.