a ~ Till human voices wake us, and we drown.


“Nothing changes on New Year’s Day.”
~ U2

It’s New Year’s Day, and it’s cold, and a chicken is roasting in the oven, and it feels like the world is new even though it isn’t.

Why do we like to see beginnings where none exist? The natural world doesn’t bother. My dogs harbor no pretense that their lives are renewed, that they have a second chance to be greater than they already are. The horses are not listing resolutions or outlining expectations. The cats have no illusions that today, tomorrow, next week is going to be any different than the right now. They simply continue and glance up in hopes of food when they hear the sound of the opening door.

But we humans have hope. That this will be the year we stick to that exercise regime and lose 20 pounds. That we will finally complete, or start, those home improvements. That yoga will become more than a weekly have-to. That we will earn more money, spend less, save tons, recycle, be kinder, love our enemies, commit to whole grain, use correct grammar, throw better quality parties, and remember to floss.

Oh, I am dangerously close to napping. Everyone here but five-year-old B made it midnight last night, and for someone who routinely goes to bed by 10, that’s an accomplishment with a price. I am glazed, slightly brittle, and yawny today. I’ve spent much of the afternoon reading a book (The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt) and if there is truth in the legend that what you do on New Year’s Day is what you’ll do all year long, I’m set.

We spent much of last night watching the vaguely inappropriate television show Glee which has great, fun music but also Big Issues that gave us a chance to say things like, “Boys, if you’re gay, don’t be afraid to tell us,” and “I know we’re laughing at the way the football players throw the other kid into the dumpster every day, but really, bullying isn’t funny,” and “You can’t actually get pregnant by ALMOST having sex in a hot tub.” So, apparently, we ended the year much as we lived it – with good intentions, less than stellar parenting moments, and abundant lessons in laughing at oneself.

Last year was a good one. M and I both landed new jobs. Our children remained healthy and brilliant. We didn’t lose anything we couldn’t easily replace, except maybe the pony. Two cats came to live with us and make us laugh. I’m not necessarily reluctant to say goodbye to 2013 (except that it feels like I’ve only just begun to remember to write that on checks) but I’m definitely detecting the faintest suspicion that we’re due for a bummer of a year. You know the ones. Not earth shattering, but always a tad…off. Someone has a lingering cough, someone else can’t master division, someone else gets caught in a lie, someone else develops an addiction to gourmet quality hot chocolate, someone else is wakened by human voices and drowns. But! That’s all in the maybe-will-never-happen future! For now let us toast. Raise your tea, wine, celery juice, or peanut butter smoothy and say it with me! Happy New Year!

Oh – and this is the end. Of the blog. We started this two years ago and wondered how we’d make it all the way to the end of the poem, which seemed like such a ways away, and yet – here we are. The final line. And, well, I need a break.

We have plans for something more, something different, something new and shiny and fresh, but first we need to recover. I need more time in the week to watch Doctor Who and write other stuff. We’re thinking about a month or so. I might post here during our break, just to keep the blogging part of my brain flexed: www.andidiehn.com.

I will miss this, and I will miss you. I like having people read here and leave messages about how they were touched. That’s the best drug in the world, even better than gourmet quality hot chocolate. But I’ve started noticing a tendency in myself to bore myself here, and so I’m going to go do other stuff and come back with tales to tell. I hope you’ll come back, too. Until then. All my love.

About andi

Writer, editor, wrangler of small boys and dogs.


  1. vtbee

    Oh, I will miss you! But I understand. And I happily await your next endeavor. Brenda

  2. Happy New Year! Thanks for sharing your wonderful writing with us.

    Also, my friend and I decided that the new year really should start in spring, when the light in growing and flowers are poking their noses out. That would truly feel like a new year, and people would be filled with a true sense of beginning. Now the new year is just one more cold, dark day in a string of many, with no end in sight. Bring on the wine. 😉

  3. I completely understand your need to have an ending to this and a break before the next project! But this has been such a glowy wonder. I feel like I know a great bit more about you and your guys and the horrible distance between us seems slightly more bridge-able. So I am awaiting eagerly the next blog. Thanks SO MUCH for this past year! You are a wonder!

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