New Year Old Hat

The turn of the year passed by in a dark whisper, a shush of silence as the clock shifted, the space between a tick and its tock. Just like that, we are where we all said we wanted to be.

But where is that? There is no crack of wind, no lash of rain, no shooting star of light in the darkness.  The view is the same.

So we add a 1 to our agenda and proceed with our AGM. My husband and I have always conducted an AGM on January 1, assessing our financial standing, our professional commitments, our personal statistics. We take last year’s statement, change the date by a numeral and ask ourselves virtually the same questions. Some years the answers are quite, quite different, and sometimes it’s more or less cut and paste, moving up, moving on. Occasionally the questions change. It’s more exciting than it sounds, trust me.

This year we are conducting our AGM at home, for the first time, ever. We have always said it had to be done away from the commonplace, the chores, the day-to-day. It has always, always been away, for 34 years of AGMs, oh my, this is the 34th! On holiday, or in a city hotel, or even on a long long walk. But today it rains, and conducting our AGM at home seems so appropriate we don’t even question our decision, let alone rail or marvel at it.

In fact, it is almost amusing how little and yet how seismic our world has changed. We will both write creatively as well as professionally. I will continue to work on my French, a perpetual and never ending goal to master conversation in that language. Look how much smaller our carbon footprint was last year – such a small offset to make!. My family tree research continues. The house doesn’t need big repairs, and the garden will get its pruning earlier this year. I have presentations to plan but won’t be selling or signing. I won’t even wear shoes.

And of course there is a constant zoom, zoom zoom in the background.

But already this year is so different than last year, when we were in the middle of planning a trip to India, exploring the coastal spaces we didn’t really know, embarking on new projects. Now we are as if stuck in amber, already knowing what the next few months will be like, set in paste so sticky we move less and less until paralyzed, comfortably in place. Yes, we know exactly what the next months will contain. Until maybe June or July. Surely July things will be a little different. We will be able to receive our vaccine, be with family, hug someone other than ourselves. Won’t we? We hug, grateful we actually do have someone to hug now.

And then we put our papers away, plans neatly recorded. We make a nice lunch, go for a walk, sit and read by the fire, eat a few Christmas chocolates. And barely pay attention as the clock moves ruthlessly and patiently into whatever the year reveals itself to be.