Yesterday was my birthday.
In my own little ego-centric universe, that marks the beginning of the year for me much more accurately than January first does. If resolutions are to be made, I tend to make them birthday to birthday rather than calendar year to calendar year. Reflecting over the past year takes place at this point, too - the good the bad and the ugly.
Every year, it is so easy to say, "Well THAT one was rough! I sure am glad to put THAT behind me and start with a fresh slate!"
There are, of course, a couple problems with that particular line of reasoning.
First of all, we don't get a clean slate. It just doesn't work that way. We bring all of our baggage along with us. Throwing away the old calendar or blowing out the candles on the cake doesn't clear the record - it just marks the passage of time.
Second, every year - EVERY SINGLE YEAR - has good stuff and bad stuff. Sometimes these don't balance out, causing us to attribute particularly high or low rankings to specific years - but if you REALLY think about it - no year is COMPLETELY good or bad.
This past year was indeed a rough one. I lost my dad, one of the best men I've ever had the privilege of knowing. I had other family problems I wouldn't wish on anyone. For a while there, I crawled up so deep inside of myself that I wasn't sure I'd ever find my way out. It was a rough year. One of my roughest to date.
I went to some great places this year. I met some cool people this year. I ate well and drank well and laughed well this year. I felt loved this year - often from unexpected sources. I journeyed a few steps closer to contentment. I watched sunrises and sunsets. I grew. I was humbled. I was joyous.
A year ago, when the past year was the upcoming year, I christened it "The Ugly Duckling Year". I had just had a tooth extracted - right up front - and I suffered a lot of private and not-so-private indignities as a result of the prosthetic and the implant procedure. I thought it would take a year, but it's been pushed back two more months. That's beside the point. The point is, I knew that it was going to be an ugly year. (I couldn't have anticipated how ugly. I was really just thinking aesthetics when I came up with the name.) I accepted it. I welcomed it, even - recalling the story of the ugly duckling - and its transformation into a beautiful swan. I would USE my 'ugly' year. I would lose weight. I would learn the 'beauty stuff' that has always eluded me. I would dress better. When that crown was finally placed, it would be like a big ole' reveal on a makeover show. I would be smokin'.
Well, the truth is, the ugly duckling was a swan all along.
I didn't lose weight. BUT I came a long way towards improving my health and accepting that fabulousness is not one size fits all. (It's a journey. I'm not there yet. But I've made a LOT of progress.)
I didn't really learn any 'beauty stuff'. BUT I am paying more attention to it and learning. See above. It's a journey. Plus I've started to get regular manicures and it is really astounding how much better a small thing like that can make one feel. Could proper hair care be next? Nothing is impossible. Stay tuned...
I don't know if I'm dressing better or not, but I do know that I'm paying more attention to how much I like something as opposed to how good the sale is. Again - not a destination, but a step in the right direction.
Bottom line? I'm doing ok.
A duck is a duck and a swan is a swan and me? As my tagline states, I'm just a frustrated bohemian suburbanite. I think I'll spend the next trip 'round the sun just hanging out being the best FBS I can be.
I'm too old to blow out candles - I'm veering into fire hazard territory - so let's just lift a glass together, shall we?