Whew. Stick a fork in it and let’s roll out of here already. Never mind popping corks to celebrate the new year; let’s just swig directly from the bottles, toss ’em in the garbage, and then forget the old one. Whoever shatters the most glass can apparate directly to 2020.
Forget that He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named¹ fellow for a minute, I’m actually gobsmacked by losing so many iconic recording artists in one year. I could write a whole post devoted to all of them, but I’ll settle on at least mentioning just one: Maurice White, September will never be the same for me ever again. Novembers probably also. This was indeed a tough year.
Still, ’tis best to still move forward with a stiff upper lip and a hope for a better year ahead. In order to do that, however, I’ll need to review the resolutions I made last year.
Most of my promises were thankfully made with tongue firmly in cheek. I’ve learned over the years not to get too carried away with these exercises in self-improvement. Ask for the moon but settle for the stars and all that.
See, I was an extra good boy back in 1967, yet I still never got that four-level service station I wanted in the previous year’s Sears Wish Book. You may say it’s all about kindness and humanity, and you’re probably even right about that. But really all I think about still are the toys. Plus the endless search for a lower deductible and co-pay.
In reconciling last year’s resolutions, I’m happy to report that I did indeed fulfill my desire to have personal visits with two of my far-flung siblings. I had been estranged from one of them for a time, so it was good to reunite and put the past (mostly) behind us. Sadly, some tensions grew in the past 12 months with a third sibling, and so I’m kind of back to square one on the karma chart. One step forward, one step back.
My promise to support local organizations and groups was an utter and massive fail. Not only did we allow our memberships to the art museum and botanical garden to lapse, but we also never attended one local performing arts production during the entire year. And my thought about volunteering? It was a victim of my desire to chase the almighty dollar instead. I can do better.
So among the minor (and in most cases inconsequential) promises I made to myself last year…
We never did watch more of Conan O’Brien. It turns out he’s not a favorite of Gorgeous, and moreover we seem to only have enough patience to catch up with a Stephen Colbert episode one or two times a week. Sorry, Conan. I still like you, though.
I did continue to send contributions to a slew of worthwhile organizations last year. For instance, in addition to the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, we also gave to the American Red Cross after observing the damage inflicted by Hurricane Matthew in our state and those north of us. It’s still not too late give a tax-deductible gift; just click one of the above links.
I ended up only reading two fiction books all of last year (Trollope’s “The Way We Live Now,” and Eskens’ “The Guise of Another.” Huge, nonfiction biographies seem to be like a narcotic to me. I’ve promised myself to read a Charles Dickens novel later this year, though.
I finally replaced the CDs which sat in my car’s player for nearly two years, but I unfortunately only did so once. So again, my embarrassing lack of laziness means that I have probably listened to “Music From Big Pink” at least 30 times during all of 2016. If Levon Helm were still with us, I suspect he’d glance at me with concern and say, “Dude…“
Nevertheless life is full of second chances and do-overs. What wasn’t achievable this past year for whatever reason, we have another opportunity to make attempts at personal growth and redemption. Or as I once misheard a poem as a kid, “Hope springs a turtle.”
For 2017, I resolve…
To work on that relationship with the third sibling. It takes more than text messages and letting phone calls go directly to voice mail each time to heal wounds. It takes a few long and sincere conversations. I know what I need to do.
To think more about forgiveness. It actually starts with that person I see in the mirror every morning.
To drink more water. My overzealous and truly obnoxious urologist made me go in for an image of my kidneys a couple of weeks ago. Micro stones are apparently visible from the x-rays. Unless I want a return to previous kidney stone drama, I better get with the program. Bottoms up, so to speak.
To start signing my name to comments I make on some of the excellent blogs I follow. Many of those bloggers are referring to me as “Snakes.” Oops, my bad.
To not focus as much of my attentions to the daily machinations and intricacies of politics and governance. This will be a challenge because so much is always at stake, and turning away and ignoring it all is worse. But I’m already groaning and cringing each time I read the news, and January 20th is fast approaching. Pace yourself, brother.
To explore more of the subtle complexities and beauty of the custard-filled doughnut. Hey, I’m not casting judgment on your resolutions.
So shatter those glasses and bottles to your heart’s content. Just clean up afterwards for the sake of the kiddies, the pets, and my tires.
I am incredibly grateful for the many comments and “likes” by those who read this blog over the last year. Thank you for the feedback and words of wisdom, even after a few of my cringe-inducing posts. Happy New Year!
Until next time…
¹ Ding-Ding-Ding!!!! Two Harry Potter references in one post!