2009 started in the crowded bar where I work with a countdown from our DJ followed by a deafening roar from the guests who raised tiny Champaign glasses we passed out for free in a toast to the new year. I raised a glass of cranberry juice and sprite along with my fellow bartenders and for a second, the loud guests, the drinks I needed to finish mixing and the million and one other things that needed doing seemed far away.
I stared at the sparkling red juice in my glass and wondered what my New Year's resolutions should be. 2008 was a year of beginnings for me. First job in a bar, daughter's first day of school, the arrival of two precious doggies who helped ease the pain in our hearts from the loss of our beloved Hoss and the terrifying leap into my thirties. All in all, 2008 was a wonderful year, a happy, scary, new and terrifying year, but wonderful all the same and I felt tremendously grateful to have lived it. I wondered what 2009 would bring, but then my surroundings overpowered that brief moment of magical solitude I'd been granted and there wasn't time to contemplate anymore.
So, I lowered my glass and drank a toast to the unknown. A guest slapped the bar, laughed too loudly and announced that he was going to quit smoking tomorrow, or right after hell froze over, then motioned to me and asked where his next drink was. I set my half filled juice glass on the counter and turned to make his drink. I watched the ice in his glass shiver as I poured liquor over it and paused for a second because suddenly, I knew what my New Year's resolution was.
He returned my smile with a grin and raised his glass to me. I snatched up my juice glass and raised it in return. Then, I drank a toast to positive energy, personal choices, decisive action and to what is. I am 30, I am a mother, a bartender, a wife and a lover of life. I choose where I go from here and what I become and so I know that 2009 will be the best year ever because I will make it so!!!!!
2009 would not happen to me. I was no helpless piece of ice waiting to be melted or used in whatever manner fate chose. Instead, I was going to happen to 2009! I set the guest's drink in front of him and smiled. "Happy New Year!" I said.