Thursday, December 30, 2010

Buh Bye 2010

So it’s been an interesting year. Or maybe not even that. Feh. On the plus side, I finished writing a book, sold a short story to a good fiction magazine, wrote something just about every single day, met new people, some of whom were worth meeting, while others were not.  I also composed a bunch of songs and music. A few will have a future, and some will serve to remind me of things best left behind. I learned new licks and forgot old ones, touched base with old friends and lost recently-made ones whom I thought might last. I saw promising relationships whither while others prospered.

I’ve played music with people far more talented than I am and benefitted from the experience.

The writers’ group of which I am a member has been a godsend—talented people willing to listen and encourage in an occupation that is frighteningly solitary and very lonely at times.

No major illnesses but a bunch of niggling stuff that forces me to keep my $800+ a month health insurance with the local HMO. Bell’s palsy (WTF?), shingles, allergies and infections; a few weeks of flu and a back out of whack. But I am exercising—or trying to—every day, and if this is not as instantly rewarding as it would be in a perfect world, at least it does seem that the fit of my butt in the bucket seat of my car is not quite as alarming as it was prior to the sit-ups, squats and curls.

On the downside, construction of a metro push-station (WTF 2?) erupted behind my house, destroying a very nice copse of trees and driving out deer, fox, raccoons and other wildlife while making deafening thumping sounds from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., weekends included. The deforestation now allows me an unhindered view of a major thoroughfare. No doubt the paltry value of my ‘60s-era home has fallen sharply, but I am told this is the price of progress. Am I pissed of? Yes, assuredly. This is one of those moments when practicing acceptance is not only necessary but life-saving.

On the downside as well is my next door neighbor who has taken up the drums. He is not a gifted musician; I will leave it at that.

I attended some 200 12-step meetings and will celebrate 20 years of sobriety and abstinence in a couple of months. Other than breathing and eating, I can’t think of anything I have done with any degree of regularity for two decades.

I’ve gone on some wonderful hikes, and while walking next to a canal, was accompanied for half a mile by a young beaver swimming upstream. I almost stepped on a 60-pound snapping turtle and saw bald eagles roosting high in trees next to a river. I was stung a dozen times in less than 15 seconds by angry mud daubers. That hurt and took a couple of weeks to heal.

I have worked hard at disarming resentments new and old, and have only been partially successful. I think there are people who are natural sons (and daughters) of bitches. They may be here to test our forbearance and ability to remain calm during storms. Or maybe not. I do know this: such people exist and they take up space.

I have no idea what the coming year will bring, but that’s the fun of it all, isn’t it?

Best to one and all, and may 2011 bring you all the happiness you deserve.

May the road rise up to meet you, may the wind be ever at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face and the rain fall softly on your fields. Old Irish Blessing


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