Standing on solemn ceremony…

*

Three mornings from now, it will be a new year. We make such a thing about restarts and clean slates that it tends to crank up the pressure right off the top, making the crispy-clean observance something less than joyful, so this time I’m proceeding on the basis that 2023 is NOBODY’S year, we’re all simply going to stroll nonchalantly to the door, peek through the peephole, open the barrier a crack, read the room, and hang around the coffee machine until the convo starts to sort itself out.

For me, 2023 says less is more. My plan, goal, thought, intent is that if and when the year 2024 shows its face, every drawer, shelf, cabinet, closet, space will have been scrutinized severely and lightened of its load. I feel guilty and heavy-laden if I’m harboring goods of the world for which I have no legit use, especially when I can envision others getting the benefit instead. Excess only adds to my anxiety, and one place that’s due for a purge is the desktop I’m typing on at the moment. Thousands of images, files, and folders must go in the name of mental health. It could happen… bit by bit, step by step.

Random thoughts and admonishments, curated to take us into the immediate future…

Alternatively, I might assign myself the task of adopting more freedom and flexibility.

*

*

Worth keeping in mind during the months ahead…

*

Image

Almost there…

*

Peace. Quiet. Insulation from the bitter cold. Isolation from the bitter of any sort. These are welcome qualities embedded in The Day After, and with a steaming mug of Kim’s coffee in hand, parked in front of my space heater, eye on the frigid streets below, where absolutely nothing is happening at 9am… it’s an okay perspective, good for processing.

We did it, boys and girls. We’ve survived 2022 thus far, with enough optimism left over for contemplating yet another go ’round. Every new year, with its staggeringly-blank slate, presents an Offer We Can’t Refuse, so off we toddle like lemmings, eager to test the waters and prove the worth of all those valuable lessons we learned in past contests.

I have no idea what to expect from the year ahead, except that it will most likely play out in ways I could/would never program on my own. And it will undoubtedly be more of same in many ways, so the resulting balance/imbalance will be key as always. What will life look like as 2023 progresses?

In these days between Christmas and the New Year, we’re afforded an opportunity to think about that question in detail, should we be feeling especially brave and bold. How might things continue to change, for better or worse, since change itself is a given…

For me, 2022 was the year life actually did change big-time: I was provided a way to leave behind the nerve pain that had haunted the 50 years of my life just prior, thereby opening doors thought permanently closed to me. The effects are ongoing, with no reason to switch horses or alter plans, regardless of any setbacks, which are part of everything. A bad fall in October slowed me down but didn’t stop me, so we’re still bringing you our regularly-scheduled programming for the foreseeable future.

One thing humans are desperate for is restarts. “Let me try again. I can do better.” And more often than not, we do. I’m 100% for restarts and second chances and the grace to use them well, and I’m ready for lots more of that in the year ahead of us… grace, mercy, communication, comprehension. Connection.

This part of the calendar year is packed with holiday celebrations of every sort around the globe, with something in it for everyone. As we take a little time to wool-gather… reminisce… make a pin-cushion of our thoughts… I hope we’ll each gain a renewed sense of respect for each other and what it takes to coexist in the world. And work on doing just that…

Image

A gift from last Christmas…

*

Finneas is a brother to Billie Eilish and has worked with her from the start of her career.

How do you know
If you’ve done everything right?
Is it the love you have at hand
Or the cash you kiss at night?

How do you know
If it was worth it in the end?
Did every second really count
Or were there some you shouldn’t spend
On anything but anyone you love?
Was this the life that you were dreaming of?
A movie night, a yellow light
You’re slowing down and days are adding up

So don’t waste the time you have waiting for time to pass
It’s only a lifetime
That’s only a while
It’s not worth the anger you felt as a child
Don’t waste the time you have waiting for time to pass
It’s only a lifetime
That’s not long enough
You’re not gonna like it without any love
So don’t waste it

I’m unimpressed
By the people preaching pain
For the sake of some small gain
In the sake of someone’s name

I’m unprepared
For my loved ones to be gone
Call ’em far too often now
Worry way too much about mom

Don’t waste the time you have waiting for time to pass
It’s only a lifetime
That’s only a while
It’s not worth the anger you felt as a child
Don’t waste the time you have waiting for time to pass
It’s only a lifetime
That’s not long enough
You’re not gonna like it without any love
So don’t waste it

It’s family and friends, and that’s the truth
The fountain doesn’t give you back your youth
It’s staying up too late at night and laughing under kitchen lights
So hard you start to cry

Don’t waste the time you have waiting for time to pass
It’s only a lifetime
That’s not long enough
You’re not gonna like it without any love
So don’t waste it

–Finneas O’Connell

Image

Christmas happens…

*

Mid week. Hump day. We’ve almost made it to Santa’s birthday, when an angel comes down the chimney and passes judgement on the snacks provided, taking notes for next year. But first… a special weekend with friends… a bit of family time… and then 2023 shows up all shiny and hopeful. The cycle has faithfully renewed itself each year of my existence so I’m going to assume protocol will be followed once again and we’ll be here for it.

Christmas is a Zen affair in our household. No kiddos around to awe and impress, so after our first two extravagant holiday seasons together we’ve foregone the fuss, skipped the middleman, and celebrated in our hearts without need of trappings. TRANSLATION: We’re lazy heathens no longer full of piss and vinegar for every project. We do, however, have a beautiful poinsettia brought to us by friends which is performing a quite admirable solo gig. There are a few people who know to look out for us a little, and I love it so much because here’s the background: farm kids are trusted with responsibility and expected to sink or swim. Same with farm wives. After all that, when I met Kim I’d been looking after six older people… and then two… and then one. He showed up saying “You’re okay, I got you,” and for the first time in memory my personal safety and future didn’t hinge on my own brave efforts. It feels amazing to realize that someone stronger is taking care of the details. And in that vein, I’m grateful to the friends who “see” us and subtly prop us up as things change. That’s an art because WE ARE NOT GETTING OLD, DAMMIT! so it takes a soupçon of tact.

Current outlook encapsulated:

*

So here’s to everyone who takes up the slack… all you real people we depend on in one way or another…

*

In every season of life, I feel an urgency to know things, to understand how it all works, to relate my existence to something meaningful… and that’s why I write. My thanks to Caryn Mirriam Goldberg, a past Kansas Poet Laureate, for sharing this quote.

*

Whatever the days between Halloween and the New Year mean to you, observe them consciously, absorbing their value, and make good memories.

Image

Still thinking…

*

It’s cold and gray again this morning, which calls for another mug of coffee while I stare out the windows some more. I may be slow getting underway but no worries, all the quiet mornings are belong to ME.

Life hack: give yourself 8 to 12 hours of alone time in the morning to mentally prepare for the day. -Roshan Patel

Three’s perfect but I’ll settle for one.

*

I feel this in my soul.

*

The deep quiet of winter is a boon to anxious humans, soothing like a weighted blanket. [DISCLAIMER: They give me claustrophobia.] If you aren’t personally acquainted with anxiety, it feels like everything-all-the-time-stacked-layered-and-shredded. Your brain runs from one end of the track to the other without letup unless it’s veering off on a side rail or briefly waylaid by sportsing or digital games. And even then…

I have a cousin who’s more of a sister, and we’ve planned since the last time we saw each other… maybe five years ago? … to spend some time on the phone together catching up again. As mom to many kids and grandkids, phone conversations are her life-blood, whereas in my little world they look a lot like this:

Today holds a doctor’s appointment and a Christmas party, one after lunch, one this evening, so of course I woke up at 6am planning for both because they’re mere hours away with nothing between now and then. It makes no sense… but if reason is what we’re after, we can let that go… anxiety doesn’t provide that commodity. Being a neurodivergent bundle of contradictions isn’t a glamorous assignment but I’ve lived to tell you about it so far, which counts as a win every day, and I hope it gives somebody else a spark of optimism. It’s imperative, considering reality, that we pull together any time we can. Life is hard. The more we know, the better.

It’s likely that between now and New Year’s Day most of us will survive the daily requirements plus all the extras. We’ll drift into a fresh calendar with what passes for optimism, and sail on. And we’ll be happy… because we find the stuff of happiness everywhere, we can’t help ourselves. Anxiety as this girl lives it isn’t worry and it isn’t ABOUT anything. It’s about EVERYTHING. The details, timing, deadlines, other people’s expectations, navigating the ins and outs. If you relate, come talk to me in COMMENTS, please.

Sometimes it would be so Zen to be a bug, not seeing every sight, thinking every thought, feeling every feel… until an errant boot heel ended that pleasant reverie, and I’d be quickly reassessing my possibilities for continued existence. Better to stay in my assigned form and deal with what I know, convoluted and incomprehensible as it might seem sometimes. Where are the people who led us to believe we’d have life figured out by age 40 at the latest? Not here are they? I wonder if some of them had an all-encompassing epiphany toward the end and failed to tell us about it. Wouldn’t it save the generations a lot of work if we simply adopted a generous system of file-sharing?

Being an overthinker isn’t entirely bad:

See, not ENTIRELY bad, amirite?

We’ll eventually figure the whole thing out. Or not.

Image

Sail away…

*

We could live aboard a ship

Hip to hip

And lip to lip

And if we ever lose our grip

We’ll go right back

To lip to lip

*

And if our anchor doesn’t hold

If we drift and get too cold

If we falter, we won’t fold

We’ll go back to lip to lip

*

If we sail for many days

Go too far and get too crazed

I will gladly spend my days

Sailing lip to lip

*

Lip to lip

Lip to lip

On a big fat sailing ship

I would gladly spend my days

Sailing lip to lip

*

Let’s get aboard a big fat ship

And we’ll go sailing lip to lip

*

Composed by Kim Smith October 30, 2020 while attempting to achieve optimum weightlessness in the spa tub.

Image

Storyshucker

A blog full of humorous and poignant observations.

Playing for Time

"How did it get so late so soon?" ~Dr. Seuss

Mitch Teemley

The Power of Story

John Wreford Photographer

Words and Pictures from the Middle East

Live Life, Be Happy

Welcome to my weekly blog on life's happiness. We are all human and we all deserve to smile. Click a blog title or scroll down. Thanks for stopping by.

Wild Like the Flowers

Rhymes and Reasons

The Last Nightowl

Just the journal of an aging man looking at the world

Jenna Prosceno

Permission to be Human

Flora Fiction

Creative Space + Literary Magazine

tonysbologna : Honest. Satirical. Observations

Funny Blogs With A Hint Of Personal Development

ipledgeafallegiance

When will we ever learn?: Common sense and nonsense about today's public schools in America.

The Alchemist's Studio

Raku pottery, vases, and gifts

Russel Ray Photos

Life from Southern California, mostly San Diego County

Phicklephilly

The parts of my life I allow you to see

Going Medieval

Medieval History, Pop Culture, Swearing

It Takes Two.

twinning with the Eichmans

Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature. Over 15,000 daily subscribers. Over 6,000 archived posts.

rarasaur

frightfully wondrous things happen here.

FranklyWrite

Live Life Write

Social Justice For All

Working towards global equity and equality

Drinking Tips for Teens

Creative humour, satire and other bad ideas by Ross Murray, an author living in the Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada. Is it truth or fiction? Only his hairdresser knows for sure.

john pavlovitz

Stuff That Needs To Be Said

Gretchen L. Kelly, Author

Gretchen L. Kelly

KenRobert.com

random thoughts and scattered poems

Margaret and Helen

Best Friends for Sixty Years and Counting...

WordPress.com News

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

Musings of a Penpusher

A Taurean suffering from cacoethes scribendi - an incurable itch to write.

Ned's Blog

Humor at the Speed of Life

Funnier In Writing

A Humor Blog for Horrible People

%d bloggers like this: