Tomorrow will be busy (I'm co-hosting Square Off on CHCH again) so I'll muse a little here on the rear end of 2010.
I was talking to a friend yesterday who said the next person who said something like "don't let the old year slap its ass on the door on the way out" would get smacked. As she so succinctly put it, "every year is hard; get used to real life". She's right, of course. It's easy to look back and dwell on a series of negatives, or highlight only the good stuff, but every year is a reflection of our world, and a microcosm of our life. Good events and bad ones often go hand in hand. If something sad has led you to introspection, or growth, or a new sense of empathy, well, there ya go. Good thing. I think we should only be allowed to grade the year after a certain length of time has past. Say, ten years. Perspective is a good thing.
I remember 1977 as sucking particularly hard, because I got my braces on. In retrospect? Not such a big deal. I shouldn't have taken my word for it. Ditto for things like divorces or hard pregnancies or being fired from jobs. Close up - bad bad bad. Looking back? Totally worth it, and often a blessing in disguise.
I read this morning that Windsor, Ontario is tiptoeing to the end of the year with nary a murder. That's awesome news: if you write auto stuff, you start out each year in Detroit - and we stay in Windsor. It's reassuring to trudge into that wintry, cold town and know they've managed not to kill each other for an entire year. It's also a good thing to hope they don't start out 2011 by being peeved at a bunch of invading auto journalists.
I don't make New Year's resolutions. They're pointless for someone who starts out each morning swearing off cheese, and then is eating it by 9am. I think if you know you should change something, you don't need a miraculous turn of the calendar to do it. You just do it, right now.
My kids are still getting dressed each morning off their 'Santa' chair in the living room; socks and undies and new hoodies artfully arranged, and two boys ambling down each morning and selecting something to wear. My living room looks like a dressing room in a Gap store after a midnight madness sale. It loses a little of the festive charm when the cats are chasing Fruit of the Loom packages across the kitchen floor.
About the only thing I do consider this time of year is if we've skidded into home plate intact. We don't do over the top Christmas (except for all those new Fruit of the Looms), and there is a relative welcome calm in that. There are always changes, but if you're smart, you'll just lay the table for one more and make it work. That was my Mom's expression. She may have said it about dinner, but she also said it about life. Mom was a good adapter. I think she recognized the futility of believing you could stop the world.
2010 has been good, bad and everything in between. I carry my sons' pains and triumphs along with my own, and hope as a country, as a world, enough of us wish for the same things and make them happen. I wish we were smarter, because most of us are capable of it. I wish we were kinder, because we wear it well. And I wish we were inspired, because we desperately need to see inspiration in our leadership, our dreams and ourselves. I'm tired of picking the carcass of yesterday.
I plan on living 2011 from the inside out. Force of nature, force of nurture - just a force. We can all be that.
If we're healthy, we're wealthy, and if we know that, we're wise.
Especially if I can stop eating cheese.