January gets its name from the ancient Roman god Janus, the god of the doorway. He has two faces one on the front of his head and one on the back so that he can look forward as well as look back. Traditionally, January is a time, of the year, when we do just that.
Each year, I do just that.
There was a time, when I faced each New Year, with depression. I would look back over the year gone by and regret all that I had failed to accomplish. Sometimes, it was too overpowering. I actually hungered for death!
It was not a good way to live.
Then, a change came to my life: my girlfriend. Suddenly, weekends were not cold and empty times to be spent watching TV or going to the movies alone. Life was brighter, the days longer and every event relished. With the coming January, I looked back over the previous year, and smiled. I looked forward to the New Year, and saw so much potential.
The coming years would see a rollercoaster of events: birth of a child or loss of a friend; a new home, poor health and a different job for my wife. We learned that our daughter is gifted, and that my wife was stricken with Lupus a chronic illness robbing her of much of her health. Other troubles followed, and new opportunities as well; I wrote a book and it didnt sell. Yet, I continued. I worked on other efforts: a movie, a book, a play and other creative efforts.
We moved. We made changes to our lives. Our daughter grew and started to make new friends. Finally, my first book published; yet it was no bestseller. Still, the ability to call myself a published author went a long way toward swelling my chest with pride. The coming years seemed full of promise. I met other writers via the internet, made friends, and found new clients to write for.
Then, we had reverses. The housing market softened, the economy went south. I lost my job; Im an engineer. Suddenly, looking back became quite nostalgic and heart-warming, and the future was a lonely and dark road full of bumps and potholes.
Now, here, today we stand on a new threshold. Our daughter awaits word, from the colleges, to which she applied, and their scholarship programs. My unemployment is close to ending, and no jobs are on the horizon. The past year was a mixed bag: a time of new experiences and tough economics, and a time when we learned about things without a monetary value. The coming year what will it bring?
Our daughter will most certainly get into a couple of colleges, and shell get some scholarships. For her, the future (as the song says) is so bright that she has to wear shades. For my wife and I, it remains that mixed bag. If a movie script, TV show or some other project should sell well be okay. If not, we will join the ranks of those whove lost their homes to foreclosure and then who can say?
The future is full of promise and fear. A new year that is pretty much like every other. Yet, as we are both approaching Middle Age, we feel a certain gnawing at our guts; concerned that we dont have the time to rebuild our lives should the worst befall us.
Looking back, looking forward; the good and the bad heres hoping it is more good than bad for all of us.
Combining the gimlet-eye, of Philip Roth, with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Most of the time he writes, but sometimes he works at Disney World to renew his fantasies and get a few dollars more. AJ writes, with insight and passion, about his family and his dog. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true.
Click above to tell a friend about this article.