Put the Happy in your New Year!

I’m not an excessively superstitious person. I don’t walk under ladders because they’d likely fall on me. I love black cats and have two. They have a lot of white on them, but they were free, so hey. That works. But, in 2002, right before the end of the year, I read a comment that stuck with me. At first, it wasn’t a prediction or a superstition. It just seemed like good sense. A good way to set your mind for the new year, kind of like making New Year’s resolutions.

The comment was: How you spend the first day of the year is a sign of how the year will go.

It’s not a superstition yet, but it’s becoming something it would be ridiculous to ignore. You see, coming up to New Year’s Eve 2002, our brother was in the Coast Guard in Seattle. He’d been in Spokane with family for the holidays. On his way home, he realized he’d forgotten his cover. You know, the military hat, and he needed to report for duty with it. So, being a loyal brother and sis in law, Craig and I drove overnight from Spokane to Seattle to bring it to him. I thought it began 2003 with a road trip. Excessively awesome.

Instead, my husband missed work and we were in a state of emergency. So, Craig got sick, missed about 7 months of work and had surgery in July, resulting in a week in the hospital. A month later, he returned to work. As he was gone, I fell and broke my leg. I went from a walker to a wheelchair and spent a week in the hospital as we tried to figure out how I’d be able to function for 3 months with no balance due to FA and being unable to put any weight on my right leg. A few weeks later, as I was teaching my daughter how to crochet a chain stitch, her left arm began shaking. Within 3 months, we got an MRI with sedation, our daughter was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor and we spent a month in the hospital.

2003 in a state of emergency and months of missed work.

We rang in 2004 at the hospital with our nine year old in her new pink, silky pajamas looking out the window at the best view of the Spokane fireworks ever. From her arm trailed the tubes full of her first chemo treatment. Every Friday, all day long, and for several entire weeks, that was our 2004.

For 2005, the phrase rang in my head over and over. How you spend the first day of the year is a sign of how the year will go. We stayed home. We watched TV and we hibernated and I wrote. That year, I finished a second full version of Betrayed. Everything else is revisions. And I signed with the most amazing agent ever. We finished chemo and revised Betrayed and the year turned out very productive and fulfilling.

For 2006, I had to get ready for jury duty beginning Jan. 3. I spent one day in court, waiting, and a week making all the necessary phone calls to check in. The legal aspect of this last year, coupled with endless, relentless drama, did nothing short of suck. The rest was a pretty good year.

Now we are on the eve of 2007. 7 is my favorite number ever. I have a lot of high hopes for the year. We plan to spend the first day with friends. Tonight may be with family, or it may be resting at home. You can never quite guess what that will mean for the rest of the year. All I know is this:

Protect the first few days of the year with all you’ve got. No sickness, no emergency, no hospitals, no missed work. Whether it’s mentally motivating or a curse of some sort, I’m finding it a piece of advice that’s foolish to ignore.

How you spend the first day, or few days, of the year is a sign of how the year will go.

I hope you all have the greatest day possible with hours full of the things you most need in life.

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