Despite the doom and gloom of the times, I am hopeful about 2009.
Akili gave me the Woodstock Concert album on a CD for Christmas, so now I can listen to it in my car, the only place where I really listen to music of my own choosing. Life with a DJ has its pros and cons. I was listening to Woodstock today while running out to the store for more bagels and orange juice (my children are like a plague of locusts in a cornfield when presented with a bag of bagels). I heard the little speech about providing breakfast in bed for 400,000 and the announcer told the crowd they were all going to be feeding each other. “We must be in heaven,” the announcer shouted with glee, and then, “There’s always a little bit of heaven in a disaster area.” Somehow that struck me as a good quote for the times.
I am scared about our family’s financial situation, which remains steady but only by a thread. I am scared about the future for my children, trying to find work and start out in life during this recession and dreadful job market. I am scared for the people in Zimbabwe and Rwanda and Darfur and other war-torn countries, where people are sleeping on the ground and surviving one day to the next. I can find a million things to be scared about. And I think about my friend Carol, now in her 70s, who beat breast cancer this year. Carol says she refuses to fear. She has had a life touched by tragedy, but she has not allowed this to prevent her from creating a positive future, enjoying what she can from life, and making a difference in the world. My friend Phyllee has a similar positive attitude. After losing her husband five years ago when he dropped dead of a heart attack (with no forewarning), she has picked herself up and taken life by the horns, demanding joy wherever she can find it. She went on a Caribbean cruise for the holidays. I am inspired by Phyllee and Carol. I struggle to stay positive. To expect the best. To expect good things coming.
The end of the year is the time for lists and I think about what is on mine. Obama will bring real change. I will come to feel at home in my new house. I will manage to put my boys through college. My diabetic husband and my aging father will both stay well. We will not lose our house. I will continue to get enough work to pay the bills. My children will find good jobs and terrific life partners. My cats will come home at night in one piece. Family and friends will thrive. The people of Zimbabwe will turn a corner and enter a new day. Peace in the middle east. Hope. Change is gonna come. I make my wish lists—trying to manifest the goodness. I am determined to remain hopeful about 2009. Obama helps.