When I first started thinking about the imminent arrival of 2013, I didn’t want 2012 to end. For so long, 2012 had been a year to look forward to, full of promise, from that day back in 2007 when London, my home city, was awarded the 2012 Olympics.
Then a couple of years later the build-up to the Royal Diamond Jubilee began. Although I wouldn’t describe myself as a royalist, I was excited at the prospect of living through historic events that people would talk about for generations to come, like VE Day or Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. (I’m now rooting for the Queen to outlive her famous ancestor and set a new record that will be, by association, ours.)
2012 did not disappoint
These events created some very special memories for me. As the commentators said of the now legendary “Super Saturday” for British athletes, I will be proud to look back and say “I was there”.
Not all my favourite memories of 2012 relate to national events, but my other personally and locally momentous occasions, like the national ones, were planned and expected well in advance:
- meeting my Canadian cousin’s daughter for the first time (I hadn’t seen her father since he was a child, in the 1970s)
- a visit from my American schoolfriend’s daughter in July (I’d last seen her mother in the 1980s)
- my father’s 80th birthday in September
- the publication of my first book in October
As yet, 2013 will be more of a mystery tour. It feels odd to be on the threshold of a year of uncertainty, after a year of such precise planning and predictability.
It doesn’t help that I always find odd years disconcerting. 2012 always sounded like it was going to be neat and pleasing; 2013 just sounded messy and vaguely threatening.
But as it turned out, on New Year’s Day 2013 we awoke to blue skies and sunshine for the first time in weeks. This promising omen was echoed by a surge of optimism from my friends and family, cascading down my Facebook timeline and Twitter feed. Everyone seemed on great form and ready for another year of triumph
And all of a sudden, instead of being filled with foreboding as I take down the 2012 wall calendar and flip open the 2013 one in its place, I’m feeling excited and optimistic. It doesn’t matter any more that our national annus mirabilis has drifted quietly downstream into the history books. Starting to fill in my 2013 diary, I’m already at ease with writing the new year’s date – something that usually takes me months to get used to.
I’m sure I’m not the only one to be thinking to myself: “2012? That’s SO last year!”
Happy New Year and may 2013 bring you your heart’s desire.