By John Jericiau
As it winds down to the end of 2012, I find myself in a strange predicament. The subject of my problem is that bloody list of New Year’s Resolutions. In past years, actually every single year since 1971, I’ve looked forward to penning each and every dream I’ve ever dreamed. Bicycle across the country (1984 – check!), compete in the Hawaii Ironman Triathlon Championship (1992 and 4 other years – check!), become a Physical Therapist (1988 – check!), swim around the island of Key West (1998 – check!), have a baby (2007, 2008, 2012 – check!), get married (2008 – check!)
This year is very different. I’m not sure if it’s my age, or the fact that we have a dizzying life right now what with our 5 -year-old, 4-year-old, and newborn sons, but I don’t have the least bit of interest in whipping up yet another list of unobtainable goals, wishes, predictions, or whatever you want to call them. Age brings experience, and experience has shown that the list of resolutions from last year looks similar to the list of resolutions from 3 years ago and even 6 years ago. Okay, it actually looks exactly the same. I’m still trying to get back to my college weight of 150 pounds or less (I’m steady at over 160). I still don’t speak Italian, I still need to organize the same cluttered closets, and I still want to swim the English Channel. Still! Still! Still!
Yes, my age is definitely a factor. I’m thinking that there comes a time where you have to face facts; time has marched by and you need to catch up to the parade and act your age. Try a cooking class, maybe. Or the PTA. Or travel across country in an RV. This is precisely why I don’t want to make my list.
However, giving the heave ho to my former resolutions would be like unfriending someone on Facebook that I had hoped for so long would return to being a friend like so long ago. It’s a loss, a goodbye. And I hate to lose. And I hate goodbyes.
But still, I had pretty much resolved to doing away with the lists this year, and just be happy with the way things are, which is pretty darn great, albeit not perfect. But then movie date night came along and we went to see a nearly sold out Les Miserables. Putting on my critic’s hat here for a second, I’d say that Les Mis is one of the best movies of the year, and it should do well come Oscar time. Granted, I did say that for the movie version of Phantom of the Opera, but I am very partial to musicals. (Hello! I’m gay!)
Les Miserables was over two and one half hours long (I would have loved even more if my bladder could have endured it). The highlight of the movie was the remarkable performance by Anne Hathaway as she sang the signature song I Dreamed a Dream. Many have attempted to slay this song; I think we’re seeing one of the best renditions ever. Her voice, combined with her acting chops as she led us through so many emotions as the song went on, brought me (and my husband, and the girl next to me, and her husband) to tears in the theater. The song is over 4 ½ minutes long; it gives you time to reflect on your own life. I realized in that short time that I need to stick to my dreams and goals and desires and wishes, because they have made me the person I am today, and they will make me the person I will become tomorrow. Granted, in the movie she was yearning for love, and I have my forever love, but it’s a strong message: hold on to your dreams. Never ever let them go.
I spent most of that movie night searching and listening to renditions of I Dream a Dream on YouTube. I enjoyed Anne Hathaway the best, and I saved the link so you could listen too. I’ve written down the lyrics, because the meaning is so deep and beautiful. I hope you are moved too. Happy New Year.
There was a time when men were kind,
When their voices were soft,
And their words inviting,
There was a time when love was blind,
And the world was a song,
And the song was exciting!
There was a time.
Then it all went wrong.
I dreamed a dream in time gone by,
When hope was high and life worth living,
I dreamed that love would never die,
I dreamed that God would be forgiving.
Then I was young and unafraid,
And dreams were made and used and wasted!
There was no ransom to be paid,
No song unsung, no wine untasted!
But the tigers come at night,
With their voices soft as thunder,
As they tear your hope apart,
As they turn your dream to shame.
He slept a summer by my side,
He filled my days with endless wonder!
He took my childhood in his stride,
But he was gone when autumn came.
And still I dream to come to me,
That we will live the years together!
But there are dreams that cannot be,
And there are storms we cannot weather!
I had a dream my life would be,
So different from this hell I’m living!
So different now from what it seemed,
How life has killed the dream I dreamed.