Can you teach me 'bout tomorrow
And all the pain and sorrow running free
'Cause tomorrow's just another day
And I don't believe in time
(Hootie and Blowfish, Time)
Seeing as though this is New Year's Eve, and my regular gig of being off the grid at Ricketts Glen State Park fizzled out, I think it's appropriate to reflect on the year that was (or will be, depending on when someone happens to be reading this).
One of the things that became very apparent to me over 2022 is that my very perception of time is changing, literally right before my eyes. You see, in the past, things like seasons took forever to change, and some seemed to last forever. Now? Things seem to be changing in the blink of an eye. What where hot summer days seem only like yesterday, and their return will seem like tomorrow. I'm smart enough to understand that the actual passage of time is, relatively speaking, a constant. What's actually happening is wholly inside my head, and I'm not sure whether this is a good or a not-good thing. Time, as they say, will tell.
I've come to understand something about myself that probably requires some work, specifically in the area of communication. What might this be, you may ask? Well, outside of my wife, I probably spend more time talking to my cats than I do my fellow humans. They have the advantage of either being very good listeners or are even better at pretending to listen to me. While either way works for me, this may be a sign that I need to get out more often.
I am increasingly becoming aware of the fact that I am not, in fact, indestructible. This is another thing requiring something of a sea change inside my own head. One must understand that over the years I have been something of a walking accident waiting to happen. In addition to THIS posting, over the decades I have managed to gash the top of my head, filet my leg with a box cutter, stab my hand separating frozen hotdogs, shatter a drinking glass while cleaning it (and shredding my hand in the process), fracturing ribs after slipping on ice and probably a few other things that I won't share (out of fear that I will sound even more ridiculous). Shy of encasing myself in bubble wrap, I just need to be more careful out there.
There are many things I seem to tolerate less and less as the years go on, such as cruelty to animals and bullies. It's to the point where I really can't elaborate much more on this point, as it is actually starting to bother me just thinking about the subject.
In 2023 I will turn 59 years old. Clearly, as I sit and type this, my physical health needs work. For example, I have the diet of an 8-year-old that hates vegetables and has uncaring parents. In addition to making grown-up food choices, I also need to exercise more. Yet though, there has been some progress. I have spent more than a fair amount of time over the past several years focusing on my mental health. With a lot of work, I think I have made some progress. There is still work to do...to be honest, there may always be work to do in this area...but it feels like some of the things I've struggled with for a very long time are now better managed.
I only have one superpower: Persistence. While clearly not as cool as the ability to fly or having lasers shooting out of my eyes, I'm still grateful for the gift. It has served me well.
* * * * * *
My wish for all of us in 2023? To remember that life is short and time is fleeting, so it's time for more kindness, less conflict, and less fanaticism...about everything.