I love the movie “When Harry Met Sally”. I love it because I can relate to many of the sentiments Billy Crystal’s character (Harry) has.My favorite observation is at the very end of the movie. Auld Lang Syne is playing in the background. After another succesful end of year celebration, Harry looks at Sally and states:
What does this song mean? My whole life, I don’t know what this song means. I mean, ‘Should old acquaintance be forgot’? Does that mean that we should forget old acquaintances, or does it mean if we happened to forget them, we should remember them, which is not possible because we already forgot?
It’s a bit of a mind fuck. And while Sally admits that the song is probably just about old friends, I think its about something more. So much can happen in a year. I know this from personal experience. And if we take all those experiences from the past year, the good and the bad, and forgot about them then we’re doing ourselves a serious disfavor. To me, Auld Lang Syne is about remembering the past year, and the year before that, and the year before that, and the year before that… and learning from it.
I’ve seen so many friends posting on social media about how they can’t wait to get this year behind them. How they just want it to end. How 2016 has been the worst year of their life. These are the same people that complained about 2015 being a terrible year. And 2014. And every year since facebook was conceived.
I’ve never been prone to give advice, unless its unwarrented.
Maybe, just maybe, everyone who is “over 2016” should get their head out of their asses and decide to take each experience for what it’s worth. Yes, many bad things may have happened to you. But if you only focus on the bad, if you only lament them over and over and over and over and over (ok, I’ll stop that now) then you’re never going to be a better person. On top of that, you’re only going to irritate the shit out of everyone around you.
SO STOP IT!
Do you have oxygen filling your lungs? Food in your belly? A roof over your head to protect you from the elements?
Yes? Yes? and Yes? Then take inventory of this year, step away from the bad, breathe in the good and move on, otherwise, life will move on without you.
This year I got cancer. This year my grandmother died. This year I said goodbye to a life I lived for almost a decade. This year I lived with my parents for six weeks. This year I was in a hospital in Texas wondering if I had made the worst desicion of my life. This year, I grew more as a person than I have in a very long time.
This year I had the pleasure of knowing, that my wife loves me no matter what. No matter where we are, no matter how big our house (or tent), no matter how much (or little, very little) money we have and no matter how many testicles I have. She sat by my side for 10,000 miles. And I sat by hers. Even when she thought a man in Kentucky was going to murder us, I sat be her side. She encouraged me when I felt down about not having a job. She did everything in her power not to get annoyed by my moodiness when we were in less than ideal situations.
This year, I watched my son make friends. I saw him jump into his schooling with 110% enthusiam. And the other day, I watched him read a book TO ME! Yes, the words coming out of his mouth were not the words written in the book itself. But the story he told about the cool penguins was better than anything I’ve ever read myself.
This year I drove my daughter around the middle of nowhere Arizona until she fell back asleep. I held her as we watched the sun disappear over the pacific coast. I felt all the love come from her tiny heart as she dangled from my neck while I ran thorugh the house. I got to see her change in so many ways that I will never forget. From having cute conversations to being able to calm herself down from tantrums (most of the time). Her personality is shining through to the person she will be.
This year, I learned what it is to be happy at a job. I’m still jealous of the people that get to do their passion for their job. If I could write all day and not be a homeless man typing on an old KPRO system, while my wife yells at me to get a job and my kids grow up resenting the fact that the only good thing their father ever did was die, I would. This is reality though. I’m just happy that I can go to a place for 70% of my week, learn new things, use my brain and be around genuinely nice people.
This year I met the best people. There was the man in California that practically wanted to get in our car. Or the displaced Vermonter we discovered in New Mexico. Or the Christian motorcycle gang in Kentucky that gave us ice cream. Between the old friends that touched base, the new friends that wish us well and the friends that seem to pick up right were we left off, I’ll never second guess myself on people again. I used to be afraid of people. And not in the rational way. I used to go out of my way not to say hello to people I didn’t know. I would make myself look like an asshole becuase I didn’t want to be uncomfortable.
This year I said goodbye to people that made me feel terrible. To people who I always gave a pass. To people who made me bitter. After all, who needs that?
This year, despite everything, despite the good the bad and the very bad, this year I’ve never been happier. That’s the truth. This year I’ve joked with my mother about having lunch at the Oncology Department and I heard my dying grandmother state“Fuck em.” This year I took a lesson from anything and everything I could.
I could go on and on about every experience I’ve had this year. I could talk about everything mundane or exciting, about how many games I’ve won (lost) and how many times I tried to stand up on a wake board before finally achieving it. I’ve gone over my self imposed word limit though and I won’t subject a single reader to more unnecessary verbiage than they need to be subjected…to.
This year I discovered how much I love life.
This year I jumped into The Blue Hole.
This year, I’m happy to not leave another year forgotten.
Happy New Year. Here’s to an amazing 2017.