As 2013 draws to a close, here’s hoping we’ll all have a Happy New Year!

I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season thus far. I had a relatively nice Christmas, except my husband gifted me with a particularly nasty bout of swine flu and I spent four days in bed. I feel mostly better now, except for a hacking cough, sore nose (from all the running), slight hoarseness, and lingering fatigue. I managed to get dressed yesterday, but I have a feeling I will stay in my nightie today. It’s dark, chilly, and cloudy outside and I might still be persuaded to curl up in bed with a good book and maybe some new tunes.

2013 has been a fairly decent year, I guess. I remember finding out just days into the 2013 that my husband and I would be packing up and leaving North Carolina and moving to Texas, which has been a whole new world for me. In 2014, my husband will leave the Army and we’ll be in transition yet again. We don’t have any big trips planned… at least not officially. On January 10th, we do plan a “military hop”, which will probably land us in Europe somewhere for a week or two. But then we’ll come back and start wrapping up our active duty Army business. It’ll be time to embrace the civilian life and decide if we want to buy a house in Texas and put down roots. To tell you the truth, I’m not quite sold on Texas yet. I don’t hate it, but I’m not quite used to it yet.

I suppose I could do a “best of” 2013 list today, except my mind is so fogged with flu meds that my mind is a bit of a blank. One song that I do usually play on New Year’s Eve is an old one by ABBA…

“Happy New Year” by ABBA was a deep cut on their Super Trouper album in 1979…

I will never forget the first time I ever heard this song. I was living in Yerevan, Armenia, serving with the Peace Corps. I often listened to the radio when I was at home in my apartment and there was a station from Moscow called Nostalgie. The Russian station would play all kinds of obscure songs in English from the 70s and 80s. Of course, being a 70s and 80s music nerd, this was a great thing for me. I could even overlook the station’s annoying overuse of sound effects and the fact that I don’t speak or understand Russian.

One day, “Happy New Year” started playing. I listened to it and enjoyed it, even though it was nowhere near New Year’s Eve on the calendar. The song was kind of poignant, with a sweet melody and earnest singing from Agnetha Faltskog and Anni-Frid Lyngstad. I got a kick out of the fact that the song mentioned 1989 in the future, when I was listening to it in the 90s. Of course, now that 1989 was about 25 years ago, it’s even funnier to listen to ABBA’s “Happy New Year”. But then I realize how many years have passed and how I somehow went from being young to middle-aged.

Another song I often play for New Year’s is “New Year’s Day” by U2.

U2’s “New Year’s Day”…

U2’s political anthem about the Polish Solidarity Movement was released about 31 years ago, which makes me feel even older. Nevertheless, even though the song isn’t so much about New Year’s as it is politics, I am always reminded of it as one year fades into the next. That song also reminds me of high school, mainly because U2 was all the rage when I was a teenager. And it still doesn’t seem like that was so long ago, even though it really was.

As usual, Bill and I don’t have New Year’s Eve plans. We gave some thought to going out, but that was before we were struck down by the flu. And though we are both now feeling much better, it’s just as easy to stay home, drink bubbly in our jammies, and listen to music as we talk to each other. 2014 is going to be a big year, I think. I hope everyone enjoys this last day of 2013 and rings in the new year with joy and the expectation of something good to come.

Happy New Year!