Happy New Year
New Year's Day is celebrated and marked in many ways all over the world. We traditionally have a small dinner party on New Year's Eve, and it is wonderful to sit around the table with dear friends, savoring a delicious meal and superb wine, talking of everything and nothing. The fire sends light and shadows to all corners of the room, and we sit for hours, appreciating the moment and the company. New Year's Day is generally quiet here, and that is an enormous relief after the bustle of the past month (it actually seems to start with Thanksgiving and gather steam and momentum as the calendar moves through December.
New Year's Day is our wedding anniversary. We didn't pick it with the realization that we would have a holiday every year, but that surely has been a benefit. Today we slept late (see above paragraph; we were up very late) and then went snow shoeing for a couple of hours. The snow shoes were a birthday gift from me to my husband sho has everything, and he has been quite skeptical. As those of you who live near Boston know, we just had the season's first storm, so the day was perfect for an initial attempt. Half an hour or so into it, he grinned and said this was wonderful, admitted that he had thought "they were a frumpy gift". For once, I was right. Out to dinner tonight, and then back to work and the end of the holiday season tomorrow.
That turned into a much longer introduction than intended. My thoughts about the New Year, for this blog, are related to the women whom I have loved and lost to breast cancer over the past year, the women who are struggling now, the women who are newly diagnosed and in those early days of terror, and all of us who are doing are best to live the best possible lives day by day by day--never knowing what the next morning may bring us. Yes, as time passes, we surely worry less, but it never goes completely away. In my work, a week rarely passes that I don't meet someone whose cancer has just recurred after ten or fourteen or eighteen years (rare, yes; impossible, obviously not). This reality could put me in a chronic state of anxiety, but, instead, it seems to (usually) enrich and focus my life.
I am ever grateful for the opportunity to know and work and learn from so many of you. I especially learn from the women in my group for advanced breast cancer. "Living on borrowed time" (as they say), they are expert at dancing on the margins, embracing joy, loving generously. We lost Lynne this year, but speak and think often of her. She and her family have owned land with a very rustic cottage on the Vineyard for several generations. She spoke often of the spring weekend when they gathered to fix and open it, and then the long summer days with no luxuries--but the very greatest luxury of time and beauty and being together.
Wishing all of you and those you love a Happy and Healthy New Year.