“I’ve found out why people laugh. They laugh because it hurts so much . . . because it’s the only thing that’ll make it stop hurting.”
― Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land
For the second year in a row, I brought in the New Year the best way I know how. I laughed it in.
We didn’t stay up late in our house on New Year’s Eve. Jason had to work, and it’s been a busy winter vacation for the kids and I. Snow came down in fits and starts all day, and I stayed inside, baking and knitting. We had a nice dinner and were in bed by ten. I woke at midnight to the sounds of the neighbor’s fireworks, said a silent “hello” to the new year, and fell back to sleep.
I started 2013 with a trip to the herb garden. My fingers red and freezing, I cut parsley and oregano and sage as the sun cleared Mount Hood. Tiny icicles gleamed on the rain chain on the porch, and little crystals of ice glittered on the Tayberry vines. Once I was back in my warm kitchen, I made the herbed butter for the turkey and put the meat balls in the crockpot. I opened the tidy little jars of pickles I had made over the summer, asparagus and cucumber and tomato pickles, and cut neat squares of creamy eggnog fudge. While Jason straightened up the living room, I made the simple ganache for the cheesecake. And by one o’clock, we had a houseful of guests. New friends and old, our heart family, children ranging from newborn to ten years old. Everyone brought more food and we ate until our sides hurt. We played board games and card games and the kids played games on the Wii and we laughed until our faces hurt.
I don’t know what this new year holds. I am old enough to realize how unlikely it is that it will be “my best year ever!!!”. I’ve not made resolutions. I never do. Chances are good I won’t lose that extra 75 pounds and have a bikini-perfect body by June. I won’t have my house decluttered and Martha Stewart perfect before the month is over. I won’t get to all the projects I want to complete, and I won’t get to see all the people I want to see.
But, if I can hold the image of the houseful of laughing friends and family firmly in my mind, I think that is a good goal to work toward. More laughter. More love. More joy. I don’t need a new year to remind me that we need to laugh more, love more, hold each other more.
Find people you can laugh with and love. Because, we all need to laugh more. Laughter is what makes life hurt less. It what keeps the darkness away. And love is the most important thing there is… and it’s what makes laughing at life a little easier to do.
Happy New Year, everyone. I’d love to hear your thoughts below.