2009 [Thursday, Jan. 01, 2009, 12:56 pm]
So it's 2009, already, in case you didn't know. In the past I have seen fit to provide a long entry of review, re-hash, and remarks on whatever paltry accomplishments I may have made, or simply listed out in neat little categories certain statistics of things I have done throughout the year as a whole - largely entertainment-related things.
I'm not going to do that this year. It's not because I think it's necessarily a bad idea, even though I'm sure no one really cares exactly how many books I've read since January of last year. I just feel like my focus needs to be different this time.
Sometimes I think that because the view of the past is much clearer than the future, it makes more sense to just continue gazing in that direction. Kinda like why I find it more fulfilling to watch a movie while wearing glasses than I do without wearing them. No one likes a blurry mess. Well, maybe some people do - I can't generalize. The point is, looking back is easy, because you can more quickly make sense of it. Looking ahead isn't always so easy. Sure, it isn't hard to make goals and think up all the things I would maybe like to do someday - but actually looking in a defined way - trying to see something in the midst of the blur and planning it out ahead of time... that can be very hard.
Honestly, if I'm not going to change today, what makes me think it will be any easier to do it tomorrow? Or next month? Or over the course of a whole year, when I'm writing my big year-end spiel at the end of 2009, having forgotten every single half-hearted resolution I've made toward becoming a better person?
Yeah. I did some good things this year. I graduated from college. I worked, paid rent and other bills I owed, and managed to save up a little. I wrote 50,000 words of fiction over the course of a month. I did other things that will further bore you the more that I mention.
The question is really whether I'm going to do anything with all of that. There are often moments of great finality when it's very tempting to kick back and just be okay with the way things are. Such as graduation. So now I need to learn more about what I can do with that. I've already used my degree a little - can I do it some more? And all those other things I mentioned. On their own they're kinda useless. Who wants 50,000 words of unedited fiction anyway? Who wants a piece of paper in a fancy navy blue degree-holder?
It's kinda like making a quilt. I know that's such an apt metaphor because everyone here must have made a quilt at some point in their lives. Just kidding. But I did make a doll's quilt once. And even though I felt quite proud of myself, getting one whole row of squares sewn together (which was like, 3 of them), I couldn't stop there. That wouldn't have kept my doll very warm.
Okay, let's use baking instead. There are a lot of steps involved. You follow what this little card says, and if you're me you sometimes don't always do what it says, or try to combine two of them into one, but eventually you get something out of it. I'm going to make pizza dough today. It would be easy to feel a premature sense of satisfaction after setting it in a bowl to rise. Rising is like drifting along or biking downhill. You've already done the work, and it continues to just go on without you being there. But even risen pizza dough by itself is just kinda gross. And if you drift long enough eventually your bike is just going to stop and tip over. That's when you go punch down the dough and start kneading it to death. Ouch. Or bike up the next hill. (for those unfamiliar with the methodology behind the making of bread dough - it's a vital step, releasing the air from the expanding dough.)
And after you're wiping the pizza sauce from your white shirt, you know that by next morning you're just going to be hungry again, and might even start craving pizza again by suppertime. And THUS... the beauty of a new year. You get to do the same things you've been doing all along, only not quite the way you've done them before. There is always room for improvement, education, edification, and even some trial and error thrown in there. I'm not quite sure what that has to do with pizza, but it sure made me hungry and proud of my choice of dinner.
So now that 2008 is over, remember that it isn't really the end of anything. And yet it is. So punch down that dough and keep going. Every little thing you do has the potential to teach you and others a lot, whether you're in school or not. It doesn't matter if you remember it at the end of the year. I'm a firm believer in the power of little things. So, happy 2009!
Oh and by the way, my personal desire to get married on one of the triple dates (09/09/09, 10/10/10, 11/11/11, or 12/12/12) is still on. So I only have 4 years - until I'm 26. Shall the prospect of cat-lady-hood loom closer by the end of this year? Who knows. I won't worry about it, honestly.
Vitality - Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009