Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2014 into 2015: Shifting (and Settling) Sands (Renew, Resolve, and Relinquish Redux)

Study in blue. . . 

I shouldn't be blogging as I am steeped in revisions on a deadline, if mostly a self-imposed one.

Still, old habits die hard, and if I don't blog, this New Year is going to roll in in utter silence from me... with the saddest little whimper on record.

Well. it appears it's likely going to do so anyway.

The sands of my life they are a shifting. Starting with New Years Eve.

For the first time in seventeen years, I will be ringing in this new year's eve quietly.

Without either of my children at home.

Without their friends or mine.

Without the food, and festivities, and the noisemakers,

New Years Eve 2010-11 Photo credit: Rick Kopstein

without the party guests,

and the glow sticks and the confetti in the air.

2011-12 photo credit: Rick Kopstein

2012-13. . . and so on... photo credit: Rick Kopstein

The writing has been on the wall.

Each year for the past four, a group of kids has aged out, gone off to college, stopped by on their way to and from other plans.

The girls whose faces I painted,

who made wearable art jewelry with me,

whose New Year's Eve henna tattoos lasted for weeks after they'd all gone home.

And the boys,

who eagerly arrived to dinosaur scavenger hunts before retiring to the basement for video games and pizza.

Who fought over glow sticks, who trashed my floor with spilled sodas and scarred my ceiling with exploding caps from holiday "crackers," which half made me cringe, but more made me smile, at the sheer fact of it.

Of the fact that we all were here.

For seventeen years, on this one night, we were all here.

Somehow, I thought I had more time.

This year, most of the adults bowed out, their children off on their own adventures, they too have decided to make new plans. In the city for fancier dinners. For theater or concerts,

off to celebrate with their grown children.

glow sticks headband in the aftermath. . . 
Other plans.

My youngest son feels the weight of it too -- "I looked forward to it every year, Mom. It was magic," but he too, is ready to move on.

Needs to move on.

Like sand in the hour glass. . .

But, oh, how that sand rushes through.

So, I'm trying to be big about it.


But I'm a creature of habit, especially when the habit is having my children.

Yet, I have to accept. Let the sand settle down all around me.

Accepting, I think, is the buzz word of our fifties.

But how to accept without atrophying?

This post is a mess. I apologize.

I meant to be witty, make lists. I mean to resolve, and I will. Yes, that's what I meant to do.

I like to resolve and many of them I actually keep, even some of the bigger ones. Take these from 2010: http://gpolisner.blogspot.com/2010/12/three-rs-of-2011-renew-resolve.html

although the burpees may have fallen by the wayside. . .

But it is nice to go back, reflect on some of the things I've accomplished. I know I feel like I have less energy and resolve than I had in 2010, so it gives me incentive to make new goals, to set them in (virtual) stone, and give myself less of a chance to just settle here.

So in echo of 2010 into '11, here are my 2014 into '15 R&R's:

Renew: see, e.g. 2010, yes even the burpees, if more of a yogic burpee... (http://gpolisner.blogspot.com/2010/12/three-rs-of-2011-renew-resolve.html);


yoga me, circa 2012...

more yoga, less sitting. 50-year old bodies need both the flexibility and balance of a yoga practice. I don't love yoga, but I'm convinced of this in my (very achy joints and) bones;

more writing in new genres. I have always wanted to write a picture book, a play, and am suddenly interested in writing short stories, which never appealed to me before, so that's cool). I have a collaborative project about to go out on submission, and I also have started to explore new publishing options for some of my unpublished work, at least the work that has garnered the approval of at least one reputable NYC literary agent (if not two or three, which some of them have!) and one reputable editor, but never made it through "acquisitions" for whatever various marketplace reasons.

Try something brave and brand new. Stay tuned. I don't know what this is. It could be a longer swim (which means longer than a 10K which could be hard!) or a swim in a brand new environment. It could be the new publishing endeavors (see above) or it could be something brand new and exciting all together.

This I know, I have to do something. It's the new things, the brave things, that keep us from feeling irrelevant.


Social media. Not altogether, no. But it has to give. It has to make room for more permanent successes. This one is hard for me. To find the balance. And, equally, to find the discipline.

My view of myself and my physical body. I need to stay in shape because it's healthy and invigorating. But one glance at my legs in downward dog makes it clear there is no holding on to that body.

My children as they were,

embracing all that I can hold on to:

the wonderful young men that they are now.

This is a process. I'm figuring out how to let go.

It helps when I hear them sing and play guitar.



But, man, what an unfathomably short time we get to borrow them. . .

Relinquish: so many things. Let go.

Move forward, rather than stew. After all, 2014 has been good. It's seen the release of my new book, seen me complete a 10K in the open water. Seen Son One really find his place socially, have success with his music, know he's good. See Son Two make the varsity basketball team, himself become a really good musician.

For all of us, it's been full of successes and struggles, accolades and "rejection."

But more than anything, we're lucky. It's been good.

And so, if I ring it in quietly with my husband and our dog, and a list of things I still need to do -- want to do -- what can be blue?

How can I be anything but grateful?

Charlie at the edge of shifting sands... photo credit: Laurie Capobianco

Wishing you all a peaceful, healthy New Year full of hope and love.

xox gae


  1. Wow, what a stunning piece. Beautiful.

  2. You still have time to join me at the tacky new years eve party I was invited to (the theme is "tacky" --I'm not putting it down to be rude)--theya re great friends and I'm sure would love to have one more. Just get on 94 west and call me when you get to Ann Arbor...

    Things really do keep shifting, though, eh? Last year was rough in a lot of ways and writing has taken an unacceptible toll on my physical form, so I hear you... Best of luck with your plans!

  3. Beautiful sentiments, beautifully written. Gae? You should think about turning pro. ;-) Happy New Year.

  4. You are an inspiration, to me and many others. (wipes away tear). Carry on.

  5. It's still magic, you and hubby and the pup and the lovely memories of a different kind of golden years.

  6. "It's the new things, the brave things, that keep us from feeling irrelevant."
    Thank you for this reminder this day.
    Wishing you a happy New Year...

  7. Thank you all for reading, and for the comments. Happy New Year. Here we go!

    xox gae