Sunday, January 3, 2010

of Popes and Romans and markers of time

About this time a year ago - a year by the standard set by Pope Gregory at least, but more on that in a second - I made a list. It's a standard ritual for many people, akin to setting resolutions and collaging and taking stock. But it's odd - January 1 is really just a day like any other day.

There are so many calendars - Gregorian, Julian, Hebrew, Islamic, Indian, Chinese, Baha'i - and everyone of them is made up by people who just picked one thing as a beginning and something else as an ending. New Years Days, like so much in our lives, are made up. Why should one day be designated as a start or end of anything? Why is the lunar cycle or a solar cycle or any other standard the standard measure of time? For me my birthday and the start of the school year are equally valid markers of a new cycle,

And yet, we 'modern' type folk by and large set Dec. 31/Jan. 1 days to reflect on the old, set ideals for the new, and create a fresh start for ourselves. Yes, I recognize that many many observations - Easter, Yom Kippur, Lunar New Year, Ramadan, etc - are still based on other non-Gregorian calendars, but it's hard to dispute the Gregorian as the standard. Now stop interrupting or this post will never be finished.

Actually, this is not just any new year - it's a fresh decade (any argument of whether or not the decade began in 2000 or 2001 will be redacted), a year in which the name of the year itself has been subsumed by the localised hysteria of VANOC and the impending Olympiad and taken on a whole new life. A year of round numbers. So, as the marking of years passing go, this is a momentous one.

My point is, about a year ago I made a list. A list of what I wanted to achieve in 2009, what I hoped would have been added to my life (freedom and love and $) or what would be removed from my life (30 or so pounds and doubt and confusion). What I'd see, or do, or create for my sons to see or do. I imagine that list included both dreaming and reality and bridges between the two. Only in the ensuing months I moved blogs and I can't access the old one and I'm left wondering - if I make a list now will it be very different. Have I created in the last 12 months a life much different from the one I already had?

The biggest difference from a year ago is clearly my Cowboy. And he's pretty fantastic. But in all the spaces where Cowboy isn't, I don't really see that much difference in what I have and who I am compared to 12 months ago. And that's slightly discomfitting. I'm pretty done with making promises, and I'm really excited and interested in what's coming. I've been feeling lately like I can't quite get my feet underneath me, or like I've somehow lost my way and life has just been occurring without any time or space or air for me to really enjoy it.

Turns out that's bullsh*t. Just because I haven't been doing the things I love doesn't mean they aren't still there for me to do. So this year I'm going to do the things I love - sing, dance, socialise with my friends, play piano, paint, write, teach. I will not take on, as Eleanor Roosevelt extorts, doing on thing each day that scares me (have I ever mentioned that I have very few fears?). Instead this year I am going to do one thing each day that moves me. One thing I love. Now THAT is a year that will make a difference.

And, since it's already January 3, I guess I have some catching up to already. YAHOO!!

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