Hello to the new! The first of January! (Which did not actually exist until 700 BC, a move by Numa Pontilus to appease Janus and Februus, who felt shafted on the whole 30 day unit of time named after me thing. It used to be the year had 10 months, as evidenced by the last four being named after seven, eight, nine and ten.)
I always have moments when I want to rally against January first being celebrated as the first day of the year. Hmm, I might have even written about this exact thing last year. I am a creature of habit. Another habit is being too lazy (busy? lazy.) to check back on the posts I wrote a year ago to verify if this is true. I just know myself well enough to understand that I will rant about the same things over and over in the hope that the circles will grow smaller, spiralling into themselves in such a tight formation that there is a central implosion of insight, leading to an expansion not only of mind but of experience and the ripple effect will allow for a broadening of character, a well spring of new perspective, a outward spiral of desire to be, know and do more.
But I digress, often.
It used to be that March first was the beginning of the year, which makes a certain amount of sense in a gardening point of view. But I understand that a portion of the world has quite a bit of time and energy invested in certain dates around the end of December and would really like it if there was something explosive and dramatic to break up the monotony of the winter (that’s summer to you southern hemispherians)..hang on! It suddenly seems to me that new years is a very northern hemisphere-centric celebration. If you suggested to someone from Milwaukee that we should celebrate new years in the middle of summer, they might think that is crazy. I honestly don’t know anyone from Milwaukee so I’m a little stymied as to whether they would actually think that. Soo-z and Serenity, when you have a layover in Milwaukee, would you ask at least one person what they think of that? I’m actually very curious now.
Ok, this is shaping up to be a rambly year so far. Which is okay, there doesn’t have to be coherence every day. Also, it says the “rambly” meanderings of a firegypsy, not the “perfectly coherent and well organized bullet form thought processes “….
Last night was the first time in my life I ever decided to celebrate the changing of the year with solitude and quiet contemplation. So of course, there is that part of myself that believes we need to change (and ohmyfuckyes there are many habits I really really really need to work on, such as the aversion to the kind of exercise that will enable health, well being and the ability to live to 111 like a champion) who is rejoicing (!) because this is obviously a sign of a certain kind of maturity. Is it? Or was it just that the idea of getting in the car and driving for 5 hours to celebrate with loved ones who are super fun to party with was just so. much. work…
Yes, that voice exists inside here too. She and I don’t get along very much. It’s not even that she thinks such a thing is too much work, she questions my motivation. All the time.
For instance, I woke up yesterday morning and really felt strongly that I should not drive to Ymir. I can’t explain why I felt that. I flipped a coin a bunch of times, it came up heads (which was stay put) about 20 times in a row. I say about 20 because I stopped counting after 12. I even had my aunt flip it and I caught it and it was tails. Now I know the odds of this happening are 50/50 every time, but still. It’s weird and wonderful when that happens and dictates, at least to me and perhaps Tom Stoppard that something magical is happening. But self-deprecating why get out of bed much less our pyjamas brain even tried to come up with a non magical argument about why the coin was coming up to suggest I should stay put. Because we’re lazy and we are willing it to come up tails so we don’t have to drive anywhere. But wait a minute psycho brain! If I can exert my will on a coin, isn’t that magical?
Anyhow, there is a section of my brain (my crazy crazy brain) that is dedicated to reading lists of inspiring quotations designed to rewire us into the better amazing productive creative good looking regular exercising people we desperately want to and deep down know we can be! She makes notes, mental or otherwise of sites and places we’ll visit in the future when there is more time (bookmark it! We’ll get back to it on monday when we start that new regime because it’s the beginning of the week and that’s what beginnings are for! Starting things!) and perhaps one day that will happen. There is so much that is interesting and the sad part is, inspirational catalogue brain would have us never get anything of our own done because there’s so much people have already written, why should we bother?
Because crazy inspirational motivational celebrational muppetational brain, this is how we evolve. We take in, we process, we apply, we figure out which of those applications work for us and we discard the rest. And that’s okay. It’s no slight on all the work that someone else did, because they are in the same position as us. Trying to find that truth, that routine, that existence that gives them joy and satisfaction every single day.
Which is impossible, by the way. Maybe just for me. Ok, here’s a conundrum. If you are not living an existence that gives you joy and satisfaction every day, does this mean you are doing it wrong? No, I really don’t think so. But do I think that because I’m trying to take it easy on myself for not living that existence?
The point is, I am in a quiet place. A place that gives me the freedom for much in the way of contemplation and reflection. So how perfect is it, when given the opportunity to step away from what has been a habit of intoxicated and boisterous celebration, I would actively choose to maintain this path of solitude and calm, thereby giving rise to the notion that I can change, I can learn and I can grow. My world didn’t end because I didn’t party for new years (10 years ago, I never would have thought that possible. Ha! 5 years ago I would have argued that if no one kisses me at midnight it sets the stage for a devastatingly kissless year). Also, it’s not that I will never celebrate a new year with intoxication and boisterous carousing. It’s just that it’s nice to know I can find joy in either state. Which suggests there isn’t just one path that will lead me to an existence of joy and satisfaction every day, if indeed that’s what I find works best for me.
So the first day of the new year, unwilling to state unequivocally what I want to improve upon, what I want to let go of, what I want to see happen, I’ll just begin with this.
Eyes open, mindful and mostly joyful, whether in my pyjamas or out, Of course I have hope that the good days outnumber the not so much, the healthy days give way to more, the blue cove days last forever. That I continue to learn and expand my mind and heart and compassion doesn’t seem so damn hard, that I get to play as much as I get to work and when I do work it’s something I love doing so much it may as well be play. And that my crazy brain continues to take delight in it’s crazy self because for the most part, it’s such a lovely perfectly crazy place to live.