It was 1.1.11.
The first day of a new decade, all shiny, all ones, all the promise of a big, brave, beautiful new year stretched out before us.
It was the reboot, the fresh start, the alpha to 12/31/10’s omega. It was hope, objectified. It was intention, projected.
Or, you know, it was what we called it the week before:
One of the reasons I decided, finally, to opt out of the Race for the New Year in December of 2009 was because of the pressure. So much pressure to get it right, to start out right, to not screw up this fresh chance to not screw up. Instead, I decided to roll with December in January.
It turned out to be one of the smarter moves I’ve made, but not for the reason I thought. Yes, there was less stress, not compounding a searching moral inventory with the demands of a holiday. My god, have you experienced a holiday recently? By which I mean “have you endured one?” BAH. And humbug.
I haven’t really even celebrated the holidays since my split with the Youngster back in ’02, and I find them off-the-charts stressful by osmosis. The world gone mad, right up in my airspace. And my left-turn lane. And everywhere else on the roads, in the stores, at the bank, and the etcetera.
No, the big “win” I got from pushing everything off for a month, and then five, six, seven weeks before locking down the program for the upcoming 52, was realizing that I could do it. That I was the boss of me, not some calendar established by a powerful pointy-hat-wearing patriarch four and a half centuries ago. To catch a plane, to make a meeting, to honor a birthday in a timely fashion, yes, I will adhere to the almighty calendar; to determine my present and future well-being? No way, Pope José.
I have done everything that changed my life for the better on a day.
On the other hand, I have done plenty of things that went absolutely nowhere on a day. You never know what will come of a day, and what will not. Sometimes you stick a flag in a hill and things work out; sometimes, not. But most of the time, it is the picking, not the day.
What I know now is that today is as good a day as any to start something. And that no day is a good day to stop without intent. Opt in or opt out, but opt. Pick a hill. Start pushing. It’s as good a day as any.
Then again, sometimes the thing picks you.
My ex-boyfriend told me that one day a voice in his head told him, “Get a dog.” And he did, and the dog was Arnie, and it was good.
And yesterday, on my morning walk, a perfect one-word theme for the year floated by: SHIP.** I have never picked a one-word theme for the year, although reading about it has piqued my interest. Many years ago, I would have sweated and fretted my way to a one-word theme, with the probable result of it not fitting, not working. Finally, I am learning a thing or two about ease. And about how other people’s “instructions” are of far, far less use to you (or me) than their stories. No two paths are the same. No two interesting ones, anyway.
So. It’s just Monday. What are you up to today?
*Thursday, September 17, 1987. This is one reason why I will never, ever throw out my journals, they are my outboard brain.
**Seth has been talking about this for months, for years; I’ve been resolving to do it for almost as long, at least since I talked it over with him at this time last year. Oh, the plans I had for 2010! The resolve! The three books on the docket! Of course, I still have them. Only on a much longer, far more sensible docket. Although there’s still the outside possibility that I could get three books in some ship-able state by the third week of February. But I wouldn’t take that bet.