And now it's time to close the door, as this year comes to an end. The door doesn't have to be slammed, or locked, but just closed so that we all move to the next room, the next thing, the next place. We can revisit this room, but it will do us no good to think we should stay there always.
And the new room, the next room? Is it fancy, bright, full of perfection? Or is it just a slightly different version of the old? Can our goals and resolutions change us and our environments so much that everything and everyone is new?
It used to be said that memories are forever, and that was some comfort to know. But now we know that some people lose their memories altogether, and that becomes an ominous thread running through our lives. Will that happen to me? Will it happen to those I love? If I no longer know who I was, can I possibly know who I am? Will my loved ones still love me, even if I don't recognize them? Of course, we tell ourselves, if they love us back, they won't stop.
Will next year be funny? Please tell me it will be, because I'm not sure I want to exist in a world without funny. At the deepest darkest moments of life, funny is what saves the day. A moment to smile, chuckle, or even just laugh really hard can lift us out of ourselves and the world so that everything is OK.
This year - was it awful? Do we even remember correctly the good and the bad? Or has time and life placed it all in another type of context? The deep tragedies and the overwhelming joys, yes, they stay as they were. But everything else that seemed big at the time - was it? Is it? Will it stay that way forever?
Finally, when we close the door to this room and go into the next one, will we feel the same way next New Year's Eve? Will some part of us want to stay in the room that for better or for worse, we have made comfortable over the past twelve months? Why is it that the more rooms made available to us, the more hesitant we become to explore them?
There are no real answers to satisfy me. I just know that right now, right here, I hope that I have plenty of rooms still ahead.