1. Oh…that’s not so ba…JESUS!
2. Is he done yet?
3. That’s a pretty pattern in the cracking plaster on the ceiling.
4. What the hell got me here?
Focus on #4. December 21, 2010 – and how the hell did I get to be face-down on a table in Fort Collins, Colorado getting a permanent piece of ink that effectively covers 1/3 of my back from my neck down? Yeah, yeah – you can be a smart ass and say I made the appointment and drove my car there, but honestly – it’s been one helluva a year. There couldn’t be a better title for today’s post than Blue Balls and Lighting Fires, and it’s uncanny that I found a stock photo with all of the required elements.
It occurred to me that we tend to think of life broken up into years. 2009. 2010. The looming 2011. I just turned 38. In two years, I’ll be 40. Years – everywhere.
Years are pretty much bullshit. They’re like a half-assed gift wrapping job on a basketball – there because you feel like someone’s going to experience a modicum of surprise when they open it. OH! A basketball! I had no idea! vs. OH! Another year! You shouldn’t have.
Wrapped basketballs are the years of the time measurement arena. We keep wrapping time up in seemingly manageable packages, but it doesn’t help. We break New Years resolutions, we spend too much, we love too little of our hearts and we expect the occurrence of yet another year to change things. And that, my friends, is a colossal load of holiday-flavored bullshit*. (*available in Peppermint, Pumpkin Spice and Banana Bread)
January 1 doesn’t change anything. It’s a reference point. And while I’ve pretty much had my head up my ass on the emotional side of things since Jason died on October 31, I know that January 1, 2011 won’t change the things I want to be changed most. So if you asked me today how my year was, you’d probably get a squinty look and a curled lip accompanied by a, “It sucked, to be honest.” I’m incapable of seeing my life in a block of a single 12 months.
But if you ask me about my decade…my decade has been beyond compare.
Ten years ago, I was 28. If I compare life as I knew it then to life as I know it today, there’s a chasm between that’s filled with experience. Joy. Laughter. Loss. Success. Travel. Firsts. Lasts. Love. Ideas.
That’s a helluva lot better picture than a year that I started in love with a man who didn’t deserve it and that I’m ending having suddenly lost the one man who did.
If I chose to look at my life in years, I’m just giving myself blue balls.
Looking at it in decades…that’s a picture of a woman who’s lit fires and watched them burn.
I like the fire.
The holidays are rough for me this year, no lie. But the coolest thing about a decade – you can take a snapshot of any ten years and look at what you’ve created. Where have you been? What did you do? We place such enormous pressure on ourselves to have our “best year yet” every January 1, but do we ever stop to consider that we’ve had a pretty fucking epic collection of years? It’s a simple question to answer – the “what got me here” with regards to the back tattoo on December 21, 2010. But I’m realizing I like NOT the big picture – I like the bigGER picture. It gives me a lot more credit for being a human being than the immediate 12 months prior ever could.
Lighten the load on yourself. Cut yourself some slack. You can start anything at any time. Only you can choose if you’re going to give yourself blue balls or discover that you’re capable of lighting fires that burn through time like an iron on vinyl.
Happy holidays – and a special thanks to The Denver Post for featuring a certain loud-mouthed redhead in the Sunday paper on the 19th. It’s another thing that adds to a pretty fucking epic decade. Hat tip.