This evening I sat with two of my friends and celebrated the coming of a new year. Two of us have spent this year dealing with varying moments of the process of concluding our marriages, and came as single parent families with children in tow. The other was missing their spouse due to work commitments that would occupy them until 3am on New Year's Day. All of us came as sole representatives of our names.
We drank cider, and tried to control the rabble of children that outnumbered parents 3-to-1. We stumbled over how to fill time until the midnight fireworks, by which time one gaggle of children had already left, and the remainder were beginning to fall into unconsciousness on the living room floor. As soon as the fireworks ended, I helped my eldest find a collection of cards he'd brought, lost, but absolutely had to have for tomorrow, and then gathered my youngest sleeping in my arms and herded them both into the car.
I heralded the new year with friends, but this year it felt like we were soldiers looking back on a long battle behind us. A year's fight is done, but so much has been lost along the way, and the road ahead doesn't lead us back to a comfortable home and a ticker tape parade. We sit in the quiet trenches and look at each other wondering where to from here. Around us lies the fallen remains of friendships that have been lost. Ideals destroyed. Visions shattered. For some of us, we bear the wounds of betrayal - from friends we trusted, colleagues, spouses. Some of us are fed up from watching those we once admired as people of substance crumble and fall around us. All of us have pondered escape, and the sweet aroma of a new beginning in another locale I am sure will see at least one of us absent in years to come.
But as for today; today we are the stalwarts. We are the remaining steadfast few amongst the many of our cohort who said words and made commitments that now are lost; caught in the merciless crossfire of a narcissistic culture. Those who still stand, who still fight, for values they professed when such profession was easy. We are far from perfect, and God knows we are judged for it, but I for one will not fall to the shots of those who have deserted and take aim to appease their guilt. We stand guard over a way of life I believe in, and for the sake of my children I cannot in good conscience avoid the line of fire. I will not back down. I will not surrender. I will not take my life for granted.
Friendship requires trust. Marriage requires faithfulness. Love requires commitment. I will no longer tolerate friends I cannot trust. I will stand against those who are unfaithful to their marriages. And I will commit to love my children, my friends, and my God with all that I am. For me, there is no other way to live - these things I believe in, and I would be less of a man if I were to step away from them.
This is not the direction I intended to go with this post, but it's where I've ended up and I'm content with what I've written. If I can accomplish nothing else this year, I will stand. And if that's not a New Year's Resolution, I don't know what is.
Happy New Year, everyone.
STATIC DISCLAIMER: All the stuff in here is purely my opinions, and they tend to change depending on what mood I'm in. If you're going to get bitter if I say something about you that you don't like, then maybe don't read. I avoid using names as much as possible, and would request that people who know me do the same in their comments. Basically, I often vent my frustrations on here, so if you happen to be someone who frustrates me, expect to read a description of someone very much like you in here!