My Only Resolution for a Year of Living Loudly

There are years when the engine of time runs silently, the calendar pages slipping by almost without notice until I look around and ask where all the seasons have gone. 2016 will not be one of those years. In 2016, I will feel all the gears, rumbling heavily and irrevocably under my feet.

In 2016, my eldest child — my beloved, brilliant, independent and uncompromising daughter — will graduate from high school. She will decide where to go to college, pack the luggage I will give her for graduation, and leave behind a room of empty drawers, the scent of French perfume, and a moping labrador retriever.

My son — that quirky and athletic, unflappable and loyal boy — will become a high school senior in 2016. He will begin to submit his college applications, laying the groundwork for the day when the urban poetry he adores no longer fills my house with bass drops and foul language, and the laundry need only be done once a month.

My book will be published in 2016. The book I wrote during the slippery years, when months came and went to the sounds of turning pages, the crack of a baseball bat, and the clatter of Doc Martens on the stairs. There will be launch parties, readings, nerve-wracking sales numbers, good reviews, bad reviews, book tours, conferences, joys, and disappointments.

Amidst all this, the dog will turn 14, my parents will turn 79, I will turn 51, my husband will turn 58, there will be bad news, there will be good news.

There aren’t so many years — in my life, at least — when the wizard behind the curtain has so many levers to pull. Of those years, even fewer are packed with so many truly wonderful, if bittersweet, rites of passage.  So when I look at this year that yawns open before me, with all its loud milestones and camera-ready moments and fraught expectations, I have only one resolution, and that is to slow down and live in it. Not just live it, but live in it, and never ask where a single moment has gone.

I wish all of you a 2016 that, whether it be loud or quiet, is one that you can live in.

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After a decade practicing law and another decade raising kids, Heather decided to finally write the novel she'd always talked about writing. She holds an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars, and is an alumnus of the Squaw Valley Writers Workshop and the Tin House Writers Workshop, all of which helped her stop writing like a lawyer. She lives in Mill Valley, California, with her husband and two teenaged children. When she's not writing she's biking, hiking, neglecting potted plants, and reading books by other people that she wishes she'd written.

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This article has 6 Comments

  1. I love this! “There aren’t so many years — in my life, at least — when the wizard behind the curtain has so many levers to pull.” I’m gonna go tweet it:)

  2. Love this Heather. I too am trying to experience the moments in 2016. That’s easier said than done when my brain wants to distract me with its never-ending thoughts of planning for future moments. Good for you for recognizing this at the start of the year and not after it has slipped away!

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