MSEJ February 2018 - Page 25

Begin Again: Restarting 2018

By: Emilie Duck

The end of 2017 was a blur. Actually, it felt more like a smudge from where I was sitting. It was hard, I emerged

upright (just barely), and I trudged into the new year feeling like I’d rather hide myself away for a few months instead of racing to face what 2018 might bring.

Honestly, I didn’t really know it was January until I went to the grocery store.

The produce department had been ransacked. Kale, gone. Tomatoes, vanished. The pantry aisles were similarly hard-hit, though there were some suspicious absences. Pasta was present, but quinoa was sold out. I knew it was January because I realized it was #whole30 season, a fact that was reinforced for the next four weeks by my social media channels.

But it wasn’t just the grocery store. It was everywhere.

Everyone looked a little hard hit, a little more harried. It was cold, it was damp, it was windy… and at least half the people in Little Rock seemed to be foregoing carbs. People went to the gym, went to work, stopped harmful practices, started healthful ones, resolved and resolved until their to-do lists grew to gargantuan proportions.

By the end of the month, we were all tired. And on some level, I think we were all a little disappointed. The magical potential of January had faded, and we were all still here, still striving to be better, to do better, in the face of lives that are not without their complications.

For years I struggled with January. I was anxious from the time I woke up on New Year's Eve all the way through the New Year's arrival and its first inelegant

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