Oh, 2010, you were a weird year. One of the more challenging of my existence, and that's saying something. I believe it's obvious that I'll never forget you. Impossible.

You weren't the 2010 I'd hoped for as a youngster. There was no confirmation of easing the aging process safely and harmlessly. The oligarchy wasn't defanged. Poverty encroached further yet upon the Earth. Iniquities and extinctions ruled across the planet. Ideologies supporting violence and separation rule in greater numbers than I'd thought possible in a thinking, information-filled age.

And you weren't the 2010 I'd hoped for at the end of 2009, either. You were a complete surprise from end to end. One stunning twist after another.

But here we are on the anniversary of a sneaking suspicion having gained credence: in a few hours, I'll mark the moment when a friend's shared champagne couldn't be swallowed past a couple of lucky sips, and a Solstice fancy of feeling "occupied" met up with a little chronological math. 2009 ended with the marvelous and frightening possibility that I was pregnant. 2010 ends with the undeniable proof of that intuition wriggling or sweetly slumbering never more than a few feet away.

So, I'm biased. It wasn't an altogether bad year. A big year, certainly. A catalytic year, absolutely. The essence of trying, undoubtedly. Not a bad year, though.

Could have been better, and, for me, most of those were ultimately (or could have been) within my control.

Which brings me to 2011. Everyone's discovered your eye-pleasing Roman rendition: MMXI, but I've decided to call you "Eleventy", 2011. I think you've got some real potential. I'm looking forward to you. I've got hopes. You know my policy on real hope, I'm sure: don't have any. It prevents disappointment. Like expectations. Drop 'em. That's my usual motto, anyway. This year, though, I'm going to reclaim the right to truly have hopes and expectations, and I'm going to have them only for and toward myself...and my sweet infant daughter, Tabatha. Her existence gives me the power to hold hope and expectation for us in my heart. I will do all I can to be worthy of her birth and my rebirth.

Here's what I'm certain of, so far:
We're going to lose some people. I don't want that to be so, but it's going to happen. So I need to be regular with my gratitude and communication, as I don't want to lose anyone without their knowing they were loved and valued. We can't bet on one moment over another, so it's best to be prepared for loss from the start by making the most of presence in the here and now.

I'm going to be kinder to my body by making the choices that allow it to heal and thrive. I'm going to challenge it and reward it. I have a whole other person who will be relying upon me to be fit and ready for all of life's joys and emergencies. I can't respond and participate if I'm trapped by old pain and self-hate. Time to let go. She won't be able to understand excuses, and I don't want to give them to her. And I deserve it. I've come so close to that moment of relief and freedom. Time to give it to myself, utterly. The best gift ever.

Whatever hard thing I have to do in order to make us safe in this changing world, whatever choices and actions are necessary to give us a stable foundation, I'm going to do my very best to achieve it. Failure is just a chance to try again for success. Maybe I have to learn a different way to accomplish everything. That type of discovery is what this whole year will be about.

Forgive & seek forgiveness without being a pathetic doormat.

Don't just be creative: DO creative. More. Finish. It's hard with a little one, but it's possible. Reach. It will be worth it.

And that's it.

Bring it on, 2011. I'm looking forward to meeting you.
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