All things considered, with 2012 being my personal worst year (Wingman dying, Sandy destroying so many belongings in the house as well as losing my job all within 92 days) this year was at least tolerable. As I recall, 2014 was more about getting it together than getting together.
That's not to say there weren't good times. The trip to Florida to help someone deal with her ex was great. Surrounding myself with thirty or so cute college boys for a home-cooked meal in March was a night I'll always remember. And, of course, nothing could beat the surprise birthday party my kids threw for me in October. But it was New Year's Eve alone in 2013, followed by the same on Valentine's Day and Mother's Day which turned most nights last year into my own version of Groundhog's Day. There were too many nights sitting alone WITH the dog and not enough nights putting ON the dog.
Early last summer, my hairdresser/friend asked me if I got a bridal"save the date card". It was for the daughter of mutual friends-ones I knew much longer that she did, and no, I wasn't invited which really ticked me off. When I ran into the couple just a week before the wedding, I commented how I heard about the big event and hoped they would all have a lovely time and after only getting to invite 50 guests to my son's wedding how I understand you can't invite everyone (can anyone besides me hear the dripping sarcasm?)
They returned an hour later with an invitation. She was embarrassed not to have included me, which left me contrite for making them feel bad. Well, sort of.
I went and fortunately, left my sarcasm at home. And I had a lovely time. It made me appreciate once again the happy times and many good people I've known over the years. And sad in some ways too, because I've lost touch with way too many-some before but too many after Wingman died.
So my New Years Resolution this year is "More People-Less Things." This week, I had a charity pick up dozens of bags and boxes of things I don't need, which was pretty amazing considering the house full of things lost just two years ago. Surrounding myself with stuff only takes up energy that I want to spend with friends and family. I'm working out what I call "12 People...12 Months" events. A Blogger Night. An Easter egg crafting day. A bar-b-que on the deck. A block party. A dinner and a brunch. A picnic on the beach, and a couple of other ideas I'm still working on. And I'm not going to angst anymore over scuff marks on the stairs, or dog hair on the floor, because I know that those things don't matter. Well, the dog-chewed coffee table matters, but I'll throw a tablecloth over it. Anyone who has ever had a pet or a child will understand.
So big deal that 2014 wasn't my year. I want 2015 to be our year. A year that has more memories to hold on to and less regrets to box up. A year filled with laughter, good food, family and friends. And, oh yes, a year filled with love. One that I can write about with joy.