Hollie Grimaldi Flores: Dear 2018
Was it something I said? You are merely a few days old and already you are kicking my butt! I said good-bye to 2017 with good riddance and the promise of a bright future but I feel we are off to a rocky start.
I take some blame for being a bit full of myself that last week before your arrival. While my husband and many of my friends and neighbors battled colds and flu, I happily carried on as if I was immune. I bragged at a holiday gathering that I almost never get sick. I was once told that while growing up in poverty had its downsides, one of the pluses is a strong set of anti-bodies.
As a child I was exposed to so many germs, my body became a warrior against disease. Generally speaking, when those around me fall to illness, I come away unscathed. 2018, you put an end to that!
Ignoring the beginning symptoms of illness, I forged ahead to various parties and gatherings, coughing a bit here and there but in decent shape. I confided to friends that while I rarely fell to illness, I was probably a carrier, so they should use some caution while in my midst.
I thought I was being funny. I was on a wave, riding the tide of holiday festivities, barely missing a beat. In my defense, I did say “no” to more than one social invitation in preparation for back-to-back parties celebrating the end of the year and welcoming you, 2018. But in retrospect, I see I was moving from one thing to another at a pretty good clip. No rest for the weary and all that.
My husband and I alternate deciding what we get to do each New Year’s Eve to celebrate. Suffice to say that on my year we go out and on his year, we stay in.
This was my year. I was excited to accept an invitation to a casual dinner party with close friends. It felt like an event my recovering hubby could conceivably attend, but it was not to be. New Year’s Eve plans were compromised as my spouse continued his week-long battle with the virus, but I went on ahead to a very special gathering of friends.
Although I thoroughly enjoyed their company, complete with a spectacular dinner, meaningful conversation and an impromptu jam session and sing-a-long, it was spiked with increasingly frequent coughing spells and an increasing temperature, and I really wanted to say hello to you, 2018, with the man I have been ringing in the new year with for 20 years.
A bumpy start to 2018
I left early to be home with my husband before the ball dropped. By then it was obvious all my bravado and bragging were over stated. I was coughing, sneezing and generally miserable within the first minute of the New Year and have been each day since.
To be clear, the start of 2018 running a bit precarious is not all about my poor health but also about an inordinate number of loss of loved ones all around the holidays. From the mother of a very good family friend who did not quite make it to Christmas, to one of my beloved aunts who did not get to see New Years, I was already feeling the fragility of life on this Earth but then on New Years Day two more friends lost parents somewhat unexpectedly. It seems Father Time was not going out alone.
My plans New Year’s Day include taking down the Christmas tree and putting away the decorations. It’s a wonderful time to get organized and take stock. I usually journal and reaffirm my intentions, sometimes work on our budget for the upcoming 12 months.
New Year’s Day is a do nothing at all or whatever you want kind of day in this house. Not this year, 2018, oh no, this year New Year’s Day was spent in bed with tissues and an assortment of cold medicine and every other remedy anyone suggested.
My biggest accomplishment was to make it from the bed to the sofa, so I could watch the College Football Semi-Finals
Good health is easy to take for granted. When I am feeling less than 100 percent I am reminded how quickly it can turn, so I will take this as a reminder to be humble, to take care of this human vessel and to be grateful for my relative respectable well-being.
Focusing on the positive and letting go of the negative, I say it’s early, 2018. We can still turn things around. I know that by starting at a point so low there is no where to go but up. So I will ask for your commitment to be a better year then last year.
Would you commit to a few less mass shootings? Can we say “no” to nuclear war? Would you keep an eye on the economy and make certain more of us have enough? Locally, would you help us maintain our sense of rural beauty while keeping us safe and our businesses thriving? Could you help resolve the issues around housing? I am guessing water will also need your attention.
I promise to do my part to make you a year to remember, 2018 — just as soon as I can crawl out of bed.
Hollie Grimaldi Flores is a Nevada County resident and freelance writer for hire. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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