Sunday, January 1, 2017

Welcome to 2017!

It's the new year, and, as the song goes, we have 525,600 minutes ahead (yes, yes, if we're lucky.)

And so I've been thinking, at this time of resolutions, how do I want to spend the year?  I've never been one for keeping resolutions, though I've made many of the usual ones.  Diet, exercise, be kind, be mindful--always focusing on flaws and weaknesses, ways I could be better.  What a crappy way to start the year.   I don't turn to Mama or the kids and tell them how I'd like them to be better this year (well, except my cleaning tirade this morning, but I stepped on a video game box!), so why do I do it to myself?

Instead, I got to thinking about things I did last year that I want to continue into 2017.  This was a more do-able list, mainly because I'm already doing them.  It includes but is not limited to:

  • hiking 
  • birding
  • volunteering (hospice, Girl Scouts, lay ministry, historic house)
  • making things to give away (crochet or Zentangle)
  • Zentangle (esp. teach Zentangle classes)
  • personal retreats (I have two coming up in the next few months)
  • family getaways (or longer vacations)
  • attend concerts/musicals (opera on Friday, Sunset Boulevard in February)
  • playing piano
  • hosting social events/meet up with friends
  • cooking with the kids and/or Mama
  • purging unused books and items (I unloaded a ton of books and things last year)

Now, I'm not one of those people who believe things change magically with the new calendar.  There have been lots of FB memes about 2016 taking our 80s childhoods and hoping 2017 will be kinder.  And it has been a year of loss for celebrities that I have "known" for a long time--Carrie Fisher, George Michael, "Mrs. Brady" Florence Henderson, Prince, Alan Rickman, David Bowie, to name a very few.  As I wrote to Lambeth earlier this week, I was especially saddened by the deaths of Carrie Fisher and George Michael.  As a teen, I had loved the music of Wham! and George Michael and had even seen him in concert twice.  I hadn't listened much recently, nor followed his brushes with the law for public sex and drugs, but I was sad to hear that he had died.  Even more so Carrie Fisher, whom I adored as Princess Leia since I was six years old.  Now I had seen her other films and read some of her books, liked her sharp wit and public pronouncements.  And I had been so glad to see her in the new Star Wars movie.  I'm sad that she's dead, especially because she had a 24-year-old daughter.

So I've been reflecting on why we're sad about the deaths of people we've never met.  I think, in the case of celebrities/authors/artists/musicians, I have been grateful for the entertainment and pleasure they've brought me and so wish them well in life.  When their lives are over, especially young, I am sad that they didn't live longer (or suffered disease etc at the end), that I won't have the pleasure of their art anymore.  I suppose it's also why, when they're alive, people seek autographs etc.--to have connection with those who make us happy, to feel special by connecting with people we think are special (I'm not much of an autograph or photo seeker, though I do have a supposedly-signed pic of Carrie Fisher from when I wrote to her as a child.)  Like when we had the kids' picture taken with Alex Kingston, whom they adored in Doctor Who.  I did look up to Fisher as a role model, both in the character of Leia and in her outspokenness and advocacy later on.  

With her in mind--"the new hope" from Star Wars--the word I've been focusing on the last few weeks has been "hope."  In hospice, we learn that sometimes we have to adjust what we are hoping for, i.e. no longer hoping for a cure but hoping for meaningful visits with loved ones.  I can't hope that He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named will not be president; it's going to happen, despite all the past talk of the Hamilton Electors and present talk of early impeachment.  What I can hope for is that he continues to be unskillful at keeping his promises and that many diverse groups can band together to oppose him regularly.  I can hope that a chastened majority, including myself, and news media will be vigilant.  And I can hope for sensibility and calm and patience and understanding.

Because we're going to need all the hope we can get for 525,600 minutes multiplied by four.

1 comment:

  1. Fear not, he will come to realise that the other world leaders do not give way to bombastic bluster and he will lose every noisy battle..subtlety pays in the long run, sometimes it is better to yield an inch than have a yard taken forcibly. As a boy I was told that USA wins every economic battle so you have to be cautious when dealing with them; I say now that China can win every battle if it wishes so the rest of us must rely on brain power.