I cleaned the back porch yesterday, rearranging all the items on the pantry shelves so like is with like - all the canned fruits and vegetables are now together. So are the soups and salmon and boxes of pasta and extra brown and powdered sugars and cereals. Paper plates and coffee filters and napkins are stacked neatly.
I'm under no illusion that such organization will last. Usually, we come home from the store and stack stuff wherever it will fit so that you're forced to go on a scavenger hunt whenever you need a can of green beans.
Still, even though January 1 is, technically, just another boring winter day, I get caught up in making an effort to start off this shiny new year on the right foot. I'm prone to cleaning closets and clearing out files.
But what I love most about January 1 is getting out the new calendars. I get caught up in the potential of all those pristine white squares. They could bring anything. Barring something unforeseen, August 10, 2011 will say "retirement". There could be a day that denotes the selling of my novel (finally!), one of them around Thanksgiving might shout "Jimmie Johnson - 6 time NASCAR champion"! They'll mark off vacations and birthdays and doctor's appointments and race results. Of course, life is always a crapshoot so special occasions come in all sizes, shapes and emotions, the bad along with the good.
The months ahead are clouded in mystery. There will undoubtedly be weather events. Here in Indiana, that could droughts or blizzards, floods or tornadoes. Those things are exceptions though. Mostly, the days will follow a natural path of seasonal change - lilacs to sweet corn to autumn leaves to snowdrifts.
I want all my favorite authors to write books in 2011 and all my favorite bands to make albums (cds, that is, in the 21st century) and all my favorite actors to make movies (although, actually, I only have one favorite actor and that is Johnny Depp).
I long to see the thoroughbred version of Jimmie Johnson come along in 2011 and win the Triple Crown, something I'm beginning to doubt I'll see again in my lifetime. I'd like for the Colts to win the Super Bowl, although that is a wish for my kids more than myself.
I'd like to hit the jackpot on the slots and use my winnings to visit Ireland.
I'd like to get a German Shepherd puppy and a long-haired black kitten and a Cockatiel or at least, one of them.
That's what I like most about the new year - all those blank squares and all the possibilities they signify.....