The Best Year Ever!
I get into the New Years thing in my head. As in, “This year I will ….” “This year will be the year that …” and even, “By Godfrey, this year feels like the year we’ll finally ….!” Wrong. Nothing is going to happen “this year” because “this year” is a total abstraction. There is no “this year.” I mean, sure there’s a calendar and I know there are twelve months in it, which each have four-ish weeks or so, and each of those weeks has seven days, which is useful for scheduling and things like that.
But basically, I don’t know if I’m going to see tomorrow or not. So I better not have big plans for “this year.” I’d better keep focused on what I can do for today, and even better, this moment, than try to say something is gonna happen “this year.” It’s a pretty amorphous chunk of time for someone like me, “this year.”
I gotta stay in the Now, not in a woo woo way, but in a I-can-kind-of-keep-track-of-what’s-happening-now-but-don’t-ask-me-about-tomorrow way. Like just a second ago I was feeling too flu-y and sickish and quite frankly about to binge-watch one more episode of The Crown while Mike and Ax are out trampoline-ing and grocery shopping, two of their favorite activities, when I felt myself telling myself, “Self, today is a great day to take the day off completely. Nothing good ever comes of writing after 8am anyway, and you’re basically ready for beddybye, so do everyone a favor and don’t bother.”
And then I thought, “That’s a great topic for New Year’s Day: Do Bother.” So I’m bothering. Why? Because the daily, incremental practices that inform my life are the ones that make a huge difference to me and – by ripple effect – to those around me. And then like that Prell – or was it Head n Shoulders – shampoo commercial, “and then they told two friends, and they told two friends, and so on, and so on, and so on ….”
So I’m telling you: This year is the year where I bother, only I’m not gonna do it “this year,” I’m gonna do it day by day, one moment at a time. I am going to bother saying no to those two last French Fries even if they are looking extra crispy and I’m giving a no to the social engagement that will keep me up too late which I know makes me cranky the morning after. And I am going to bother saying yes to my new ugly shoes every damn day if that’s what it takes to have feet that don’t hurt.
I’m going to bother petting Cleo the cat when she meows and not just tell her to pipe down because it’s not really too much trouble and I do like her quite a bit. And I’m going to give my husband the love eyes and kisses even when he does not clear our son’s tortellini dish from the night before and the sauce gets caked on.
I’m going to bother to be way more patient, tolerant, kind, and loving in the world, consistently, like all the time, and also grateful, even when I’m wearing ugly shoes and my foot still hurts. Even when that thing happens which is sure to happen even this year and I simply can’t control it.
And I’m not going to get into arguments in parking lots anymore either. Or when I’m hungry. And I’m not going to get carried away or overly ambitious or make grand pronouncements of any kind for myself or for anyone else ever again.
Yes. This year is going to be the best year ever! I can feel it! Well, so far so good, anyway. I’m gonna keep going.