It is January 1, 2012 and I wake to a slightly sullen morning although the cool breeze is welcome.
Yesterday, I spent the last day of 2011 pleasantly enough. I had coffee with Louisa, I worked on a painting nearly all day, I walked 5 km.
Then last night Al and I gave 2011 the Finger at a lovely dinner at Craig and Desiree's place. Karen and Peter were also there and the six of us toasted the year we've had while downstairs, Craig's dog Elton, tried unsuccessfully to shag my dog, Spunky.
We left at 10.30 and I was glad that I was able to stay up until midnight for what was, I suppose, my own Bald Lang Syne.
Al fell straight to sleep but Ben and I dozed lightly waiting for the fireworks on Channel 9. As Richard Wilkins announced the New Year, my mobile rang with Harry and his girlfriend Robin, ringing to wish us Happy New Year.
Harry's jolly "I love you mum," brought in 2012 for me and I guess will set the theme for my year ahead. I will rely on love, more than anything, to get me through what I know still lies ahead.
You'll understand why I'm anticipating 2012 with a little trepidation as I stand in front of the mirror and take stock of my shiny pate (with a few stray hairs popping through), my missing breast and the two kilos I've added in the last three months.
It's a different version of me that is greeting this particular New Year.
2011 was obviously a doozie but frankly, I'm not holding out too much hope for 2012 either as I ponder something else about illness - how it influences the kinds of goals, plans and aspirations you set yourself.
If a New Year is about resolutions and a fresh start, illness certainly puts a new spin on things.
A case in point. Even as little as four months ago, I was a person who, on January 1, would not so much resolve to change, but rather plan activities that would affirm my self esteem. By nature goal driven, I would mentally set myself what I thought were challenges.
Every year, for example, I'd affirm to: "Learn or Do Something New". This year it was refereeing. In other years I've given classical guitar, Russian, salsa dancing, tap dancing and even badminton a go.
I'm a glutton for new experiences and will try absolutely anything at least once. Because that's what "living life to the fullest" is to me... having a go. At everything!
But illness has thrown a spanner in the works. I am mentally and physically fatigued and feel a little sad that maybe this year, the 'new things' I'll be experiencing will be pretty bloody crap.
Plans and aspirations, both humble and grandiose, will have to be drawn up with the codicil: "If health allows."
Some small goals are surely achievable. Meditate; play golf weekly if possible; read a book a month; get back to refereeing.
Other resolutions it seems, are pointless
Finish my novel? Unlikely. It's a comedy and half the time these days I'm as funny as a bunion ...You know bunion's jokes are really corny :)
Lose weight? Hmm. When that other breast comes off I'll be 1.5kg lighter than this time last year. Do I really care about spare kilos anyway?
Get fitter? Does beating breast cancer count?
Instead, in 2012, I shall have to satisfy my self with just one resolution: To weather the inevitable storms ahead, and simply get through it.
I must resign myself to the fact that this year will not be about "living life to the fullest".
This year it will be about living life as best I can.
And given the challenges ahead, you know what?
I think I'm happy with that.