In the weeks following my mother-in-law's death, we had to go through all of her stuff and figure out how to divide the various possessions among her children. This has been emotionally taxing for several reasons. For one, she had a lot of stuff. Two, people assign sentimental attachments to certain objects. And three, death makes people act sort of weird. Out of fairness to my husband's family, I won't go into it, but I'm fairly certain that this isn't the first family to get sort of wacky when it comes to a lamp or a pair of slippers, or an old piece of furniture.
It's just stuff.
I for one am quite tired of stuff. In fact, I spent the last three hours putting together a pile of stuff of my own to bring to the Goodwill tomorrow. Out with the old and to heck with the new. I don't need more stuff. Okay, I take that back. I might like to get some new pillows, towels and a bedspread, but I definitely don't need any doo-hicky's or knick-knacks or spices or jars or sweaters or anything else that I'll wear once and throw on the floor of my closet to collect dust.
I'm a pretty simple type of person. I will wear the same five shirts for six months, the same shoes, the same purse and feel good that my clothing choices are simple. Life is too short to worry if this shirt matches with this pair of shoes or if this purse matches this lipstick. I've got bigger fish to fry.
So, today is one of my least favorite days of the year because it's loaded with expectation. I used to think that I was supposed to have some sort of grand time because it's the end of the year. Or I'd get all melancholy because I didn't achieve all those resolutions that I wrote down in a drunken stupor the year before.
This year, I'm going to take one of those jars that my mother-in-law saved and I'm going to write one good thing that happened each day and put it in the jar. It could be as simple as "I woke up." Or it could be "I got a piece accepted today." Or "My husband told me he loved me." Or "My hair looked really good today." Whatever. Next December 31, I''ll break open the dang jar and read about all the good stuff that happened. Because, really, it's the little things in life.
And as U2 said so long ago...nothing changes on New Year's Day.