Pushing the Reset Button
When I was a kid, my parents had people over on New Year’s Eve. Usually, those couples brought their kids, and it was an evening of unsupervised fun in one of the downstairs rooms in our house. We got to eat things like Fritos and Port Wine cheese balls and could stay up as late as we wanted, playing Atari or watching movies.
But my parents looked at New Year’s as little more than the less exciting, not very meaningful finish to the holiday season, and I have to admit I did too, up until I got into my late 20s. Once I moved in with my housemate Charles and started to embark on my writing career and my own life in earnest, we began to mark both New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day as something to be celebrated, something special. Over the years, it’s gotten to the point at which, after Christmas Day, I start taking down the decorations and switch those in my home over to “winter,” and New Year’s Eve and Day have a spirit, feel, and magic all their own—it’s a party with friends (virtual for the past few) followed by a full day of rest on the couch, eating fun food and taking in Syfy’s annual The Twilight Zone marathon (and I own them on DVD, so if that ever goes away, I can happily continue that tradition).
Over the past five years, the two days have also taken on a spiritual bent for me. Not only a holiday, but a chance to begin completely anew. I’m not one for “resolutions” and never have been, but I always look at the start of a new year as the chance to reflect on the past year, take stock of things, and set new goals with the idea of “working on it” and not necessarily “completing it” to be successful.
I’ve seen writers socially sharing what they achieved in the past year, and I thought it was a neat idea, because I don’t do that. Not in the sense of a “tally” anyway. Last year’s New Year’s Eve cracker wish for me was SUCCESS, and holy crow, I wasn’t prepared for what that actually meant.
The year was a whirlwind. There are probably some things I forgot—honestly, that’s how awesome this year was—but here we go:
7 polished new short stories
3 new works in progress
29 new story ideas (nothing written yet, no. They go in a file for later).
2 invitations to submit (successful)
12 story publications
Guest Speaker at 2 College Creative Writing Classes
6 interviews (podcast and print)
9 positive reviews of my stories or projects
2 successful 34 Orchard issue releases
4 panel events
LOL – a tiny photo of me in the New York Times and an interview in the Washington Post
Featured Author for Sirens Call eZine’s Winter 2022 issue
Final selections for anthology I’m co-curating; editing underway now
1 incredible new opportunity I can’t talk about yet
…and 1 film credit! Thanks to my husband Nathan, I got to be an extra on the set of the upcoming horror movie Candlewood. My first time on a movie set, I was nervous as shit, but I had a wonderful time! Whether anyone actually sees anything more of me than my arm or something kinda isn’t the point. That was the experience of a lifetime, and I’m looking forward to this summer’s release.
I also opened my 2022 “Wishes & Intentions.” I didn’t necessarily do as well as I’d hoped—out of 54 total, only 23 ‘yes’ and a handful still in progress.
That said, 2022 was quite the challenging ride. While the highs were super high? The lows were super low. The world opened back up just too quickly for me (apparently, lots of people felt this way). Due to a rare, severe reaction to the 3rd Covid booster, I was sick (in very odd ways and it’s a long list) for most of it, complicated by a near-inescapable brain fog. Even though I said no to most events coming my way, there were still too many activities I didn’t want to do that I felt pressured into doing. Someone at my day job left and isn’t being replaced, so I had to take over most of her responsibilities going forward. My personal projects workload led to something called “overwhelm paralysis,” in which you have so much to do you just can’t even do any of it. My car got hit and was severely damaged in a parking lot by some idiot in a rush to get to a Mets game and there were some financial issues, and as a result, I had some troubles with situational depression. I couldn’t keep up with getting my house clean, much less in order. I ended the year by catching Covid (I should probably put this on my positive list, because miracle of miracles—it stopped the reaction to the shot and I got my drive, energy, hair and brain back). We also had an overheated charger that started a small fire in my bedroom, but did little more than scare the shit out of me (my worst fear is dying in fire), ruin my rug, and establish a rule in the house that chargers do not stay plugged in if they’re not in use. Despite all the great things that happened this year, I hit New Year’s Eve feeling, honestly, exhausted and banged up.
2023’s cracker wish is LIBERATION, and I eagerly look forward to seeing what that means, although I suspect I will finally shed some things that have been weighing me down. This was echoed in my first bird sighting of the year—the Nuthatch, which, spiritually, is not only a reminder to keep the faith and trust my intuition, but also to liberate myself from clutter and get my home space in order.
I was excitedly embracing this idea while cleaning up on New Year’s Day—and then I slipped in the kitchen, took a very bad fall, and broke my favorite three-sectioned platter. Glass was everywhere.
Physically, I’m fine. I wasn’t seriously hurt, although my husband was watching me in case something suddenly got worse and I had to seek medical attention, so I enjoyed my TZ marathon with ice packs and ibuprofen. Quite a nasty elbow bruise. This first picture was taken four days later and the second two at a week afterward, but it doesn’t hurt, even though it looks like it does.
It was more the shattered platter that made me so upset. Charles and Nathan had given it to me for Christmas 2010, along with all the dishes, bowls, and other serving accoutrement. My heart was more broken than my body. What a way to ring in 2023, I thought.
Then I looked up what glass breaking on New Year’s means. While some say it’s good, and others bad, before I Googled, I decided I’d accept the first answer that appeared.
I was pleased to discover a Pakistani superstition on the Dartmouth Folklore Archive, which you can read here: https://journeys.dartmouth.edu/folklorearchive/2016/11/18/good-luck-superstitions/comment-page-1/#:~:text=%E2%80%9CA%20glass%20breaking%20in%20your,luck%20is%20going%20to%20come.%E2%80%9D
According to Sheherzad, who identifies as Punjabi and is from Lahore, Pakistan, “A glass breaking in your house means good luck is coming your way. Obviously you can’t just break your glass it doesn’t work. If you break glass intentionally then it doesn’t work that way but if you accidentally break some glass that means evil is leaving your house and good luck is going to come.”
I’ll take it! And I wish you all many blessings for wonderful things, as well as the strength and perseverance for any challenges that come your way. Happy 2023!
Posted on January 9, 2023, in Deep Thoughts & Fun Stuff, News and tagged facing challenges, New Year’s Day, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s goals, superstitions, taking stock of the old year, The Twilight Zone Marathon, what does breaking glass mean. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.