2015 was a pretty good year. In 2013 and 2014, Ken declared every day in December: "I just can't wait for this year to be over! Maybe next year will be better." I didn't hear him say it even once this year. That means we were okay! Woohoo! As for next year, let's take that as it comes, one day at a time.
Thanks for sharing my concern about Bubbe. She's been released from the hospital and is back at home (an assisted living facility), with a few hours of caregiver assistance scheduled daily. Her ailments are as controlled as they can be, and I'm sure that she's thrilled to be back in her own space. Hopefully this will help her mental state.
My New Year's Eve was fabulous. I spent it at home, cozy in my PJs, far away from parties, crowds, confetti, and noisemaking devices. Ken, being somewhat more social than I, attended our friends' annual party, which is basically an open house for everyone in their neighbourhood. This includes peoples' kids, therefore much YELLING and RUNNING AROUND, and CHAOS. Ken maintains that it was a great party and I would have hated it. I believe him on both counts.
I don't have any resolutions for 2016, nor any ambitions, other than to do my best every day to be a good-natured and reassuring presence in the world. I mean, of course I will continue to do all of the things that I feel are sensible, like eating vegetables and saving money. But I feel that we have collectively created unrealistic standards of what it means to be a good human. We would do quite well, some of us, if we could just be as good as a "good dog" or even a "good tree".
A good dog doesn't have to earn lots of money, or wear fancy clothes. A good dog has to be friendly and loving; stay calm under stress; enjoy playing; and not be destructive. That's it! There is no dog Nobel prize and no great novel written by a dog. That's okay. All that the good dog has to do in order to make a huge, positive difference in the world is show up with an open heart. If I can accomplish as much as a good dog on any given day, I feel satisfied with myself.
On days when it's too much to ask of myself to be a good dog, I try to be a good tree. A tree has to do even less than a dog to contribute. I mean, who doesn't love trees? A tree is beautiful by its very presence. It doesn't require interaction, or visible growth. It can do its own thing at its own pace, and yet still contribute to the landscape. Basically the tree has to hang in there through the winter and be present during the other seasons, and most of us, consider it a blessing to have it around. When a tree is lost it is sadly missed. Aren't all trees good trees by default?
So, when in doubt, sit, stay, and shake a paw. Or just hang out and wait for spring; it's coming!