By Khimm Graham
To welcome in the New Year and expel the evil spirits of the midnight hour, we used to clang pots with wooden spoons, and throw confetti in the air. Kids like us stayed up with inebriated adults dancing till dawn, silver dollars in our pockets, and pickled herring on our breathe. All for luck, all for one, and no one was ever arrested.
I never spent a safe holiday just for children because kids were secondary — sent out of the room, out to play and into bed. We didn't sleep with our parents or beg them to play, plan family vacations or wish lists online. We had our loving, disciplined place. School pictures, full class shots, year books and a couple of bad birthday photos blowing out candles on a homemade cake with some cousins around making monkey faces were the cherished moments of our lives. There was no theme or photographers to commemorate the event.
So when the New Year arrives and I'm expected to be resolute and goal-oriented, organizing Pinterest board into buckets — I cannot comply. What should I want?
Marriage — not really. Not again. Not very good at monogamy. I'd rather bungee jump off the Hotel Henry. Besides, most of the men I find interesting are dead or married. Internet attachments are one-dimensional without flesh and blood vibrations. Although I have friends who happily connect on Our Time and Plenty of Fish.
Travel isn't much fun anymore with security staff searching every inch of your body and fellow travelers sleeping on airport floors taking selfies of their misery. Glamorous trips to faraway places are marred by mundane tourists traps of tiny seats and skinny isles on cheap flights. Perhaps I've made to many journeys in a short amount of time, but coach is a flying bus I'd sooner parachute from and do not have a penchant for jumping.
I hesitate to say that I'm happy because I shouldn't be — eating exactly the same breakfast at 6 a.m. before I go to work without a car, living in a third story walk-up apartment in the suburbs — loving every step into my eclectic abode. I don't have a list, but I have pages of essays and poetry, flowers at my fingertips, the most trustworthy best friend, a circle of outrageous family and an affable ex-husband.
Being published makes me happy when it influences the whole. Branding doesn't interest me because it dilutes originality and trumps the spiritual purpose of my being. So what should be my fondest wish and highest resolution since every year is a new beginning designed to promote wellness and success? New Year conditioning begins with the first commercial for Planet Fitness encouraging weight loss without judgement — happy misfit yoga and essential oil therapy, cupping the way to a pain-free future with a chiropractic manipulation and salt lamp amethysts. This enlightenment will cure my ills and open the seven chakras of 2018 — not sure.
Choosing only one gift from the Sears Catalog made selections simple at five and six. They became unimportant and insignificant in the scheme of life. Now I feel peace without a list to contain me or a contract with the devil of details to restrict my energy.
So this year I will be the same — same weight, same hair, same face. Caring for those who need me, eating yogurt every day, and hoping my words change a life or open a door. "To laugh often and much ... to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. That is to have succeeded." Emerson.
Khimm Graham is a poet and writer who has resolved to be the same person in 2018.