I’m sat in a LBD (a term that is officially in the dictionary, a little black dress), on the couch in the living room of the coast house, listening to the waves hitting the beach and a cool breeze coming through the screen door. There’s nowhere to go and nothing to do. And it’s perfect.
I think this must be a sure sign I am growing up. Or maturing anyways. I remember times in my teens and twenties when I’d feel so disappointed at my lack of plans for new years eve, as if this one night were a reflection of my greater social standing in the world. But now, after two surfs, a run on the beach, a swim, an afternoon nap and a nice dinner made by Sean, there’s not much else I want to do. I turned to Sean over dinner and said that it sounded lame, but I just wanted to stay home, watch a movie and do what we always do. Nothing all that special. I don’t even really care about staying up till midnight. Then, as I heard myself saying it, it dawned on me what a fantastically happy thing it is to want to continue one’s regular life regardless of occasion.
Reflecting back on 2018, this all makes a lot of sense. Sean and I rang in the year back home at Shell Lake, Saskatchewan, lighting fireworks on the ice of the lake, in a heated curling battle with old friends. From there we spent the next month in the Rockies, me teaching Sean to cross country ski and learning how to handle powder at Kicking Horse. February found us in Colombia, with the Mamo at Busintana and the Princesa in Bogota. March we returned to south coast NSW (Australia), and April had us inland at the farm for the picnic races. May was New Zealand. June were Wallabies and Waratahs rugby games. July was the refugee ration challenge, winter swimming, and ski-camping trips in the Rav4. August a solo trip back to Canada to bring the whole Hiebert family together again. September, after a lot of effort, I received the first stage of a partner visa for Australia. October we bought a rental property, hosted Canadian Thanksgiving and I really dove into teaching yoga in senior care. November we started renovations and spent a week riding bikes down the beach at Byron Bay and putting on shows Lismore with Karim’s Mojo Disco.
December saw us living down the hill from our apartment, spending Christmas at Cambewarra Farm and surf trips down the south coast.
2018 has been a big beautiful year. I don’t spend too much time with resolutions but instead like to take this time to pause to really remember just how lucky I am and that I’ve got all – and more – that I’ll ever need. As for advice for the new year, I like this bit from Neil Gaiman:
Be kind to yourself in the year ahead. Remember to forgive yourself, and to forgive others. It’s too easy to be outraged these days, so much harder to change things, to reach out, to understand.Try to make your time matter: minutes and hours and days and weeks can blow away like dead leaves, with nothing to show but time you spent not quite ever doing things, or time you spent waiting to begin.Meet new people and talk to them. Make new things and show them to people who might enjoy them.
Hug too much. Smile too much. And, when you can, love.
Neil Gaiman @neilgaiman.com
And finally, January 1, 2019: