On December 31, one of my best friends had a baby. A girl. Her third. Despite being a week overdue, the baby is tiny. New. And perfect (maybe I’m bias…but it’s true).
Here's a picture of us, about a month and a half before she had the baby.
The baby came on her own timeline. If it were up to us adults, this baby would have born when she was due. Like she was supposed to (Because babies listen to us, right? They come exactly when they are supposed to, right?)
This baby had other plans, as babies do. She let us know who was in control here.
“The baby is going to be a social butterfly,” I told my friend a few days before, when it was looking like the baby would arrive around New Year’s Eve rather than Christmas. “She wants to come out when there’s a party and lots of people.”
Sure enough, New Year’s Eve came, and the baby was still hanging out in my friend’s nice, comfy womb. (I mean, I assume it’s nice and comfy, as far as wombs go. Not that I would know what my friend’s womb is like.)
I’m making this awkward. STOP IT LINDSAY.
I texted another friend that afternoon: “I’m sitting here eating cheese puffs on the couch, and our friend is about to have a baby. Life’s weird.”
Life IS weird.
My friend had a baby on December 31. On the flip side of things, my mom was working in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit taking care of other people’s babies who aren’t as healthy as my friend’s newborn.
My cousin and aunt were in New York City in December 31 to ring in the new year. The Michigan State Spartans were in Texas, playing a pretty ugly football game. I was inhaling pineapple and ham pizza with my new in-laws and husband, watching aforementioned sad Spartans game.
People got engaged. Announced pregnancies. Threw confetti and streamers. Sat with their cats (I did that later on in the night, much to my parent’s cat Tabitha’s dismay).
All on the same day: December 31. Different memories. Different meanings.
Like it or not, we have entered a new year. I know a lot of people “aren’t into resolutions.” I get that. I’m not that sold on resolutions, either.
But I do enjoy a new beginning. Everyone needs a new beginning at some point. And it doesn’t have to be, you know, coming into the world on the last day of the year like my friend’s baby (but that’s pretty cool).
It’s a chance for us to start over. To have our beginnings coincide with the beginning of a new year.
As for me, my resolution is more of a challenge: put myself in new situations. Hence this website, for one. Letting everyone know that I have a dream of getting published and I am pursuing that dream, for another. It’s not easy to be vulnerable and put yourself out there. It’s not easy for me, anyway. I’m a stickler for certainty and comfort zones. I have this perfectionist problem and this lack-of-coordination problem and then there’s the “What if I embarrass myself?” anxieties that trip me up sometimes.
This whole thing can be downright scary.
BUT I SHALL PRESS ON.
I will forget about the times I tried new things and completely flopped. Like when I went ziplining in Mexico and couldn’t stop myself when they told me to, so I got nervous and grabbed the zipline rope and abruptly stopped. Like, STOPPED. Middle of the Mexican jungle-stopped. Dangling alone with people ten feet away in a tree-stopped.
I didn’t just abruptly stop one time and then figure it out on the next go-around. I dangled mid-air in the middle of the zipline three times. THREE TIMES.
When I tried paddleboarding in Frankenmuth, I went very slowly and got behind my pals. I couldn’t figure out how to steer. When an unexpected large boat (like multiple levels-tall) came down the river, I panicked and went straight into the riverbank amongst the mud and muck. My saving grace was our friend Kristin, bless her heart, who switched my paddleboard for her kayak. Had she not switched with me, I think I’d still be out on the river, floating on the paddleboard, woefully shouting “HELP ME!” at random intervals.
When my husband and I first tried kayaking, we didn’t go on a small test run on quiet waters for thirty minutes. We went on Lake Michigan, one of the largest fresh-water lakes in the world, for two hours (no clue it was going to be two hours) to get to this landform called Turnip Rock. Three minutes in the water and once again, I couldn’t figure out how to steer and hit the marina wall repeatedly. I went slowly. My arms burned. I paddled so much water INTO the kayak that I could have created my own Michigan lake. My legs were soaked and my eyes were stinging with tears of frustration.
Let it be known, though, that we made it, though. To the rock.
So yeah, my record with trying new things isn’t the best. I mean, I don’t expect to be great at things on the first try, but I’d like to aim for something a little bit higher than horrible. I’d settle for decent or mediocre. But I seem to consistently hit REALLY BAD.
My husband says I pick the wrong things to try. “It’s water sports, I think,” he tells me. “The steering and the paddling.” He’s good at trying to make me feel better.
This year marks new beginnings and trying new things. I will work on steering, should the experience require steering. And with whatever it is that we try, I’ll probably go slowly.
And that’s OK. I’ll just do what my friend’s baby did: Make ‘em wait until I’m ready.
Side Note: Here are the pictures from the aforementioned failure adventures, which only provides more proof that a picture does not always reflect the context of a situation.