A place to share opinions and humor about politics, history, books, films and music.
Friday, January 2, 2015
New Year's Evolutions
A new year dawns. I make no resolutions, no promises I cannot keep. I do not pledge, for example, to blog every day this year (I would have blown that one already anyway). I do make plans and give vent to my aspirations: my hopes for 2015. After all, the new year is a moment for Hope, for turning toward the future, for putting aside regret. I have trouble with the last, regret, but I am working on remembering my successes – which are many – and not giving into the Blues. I did indulge myself in the Blues yesterday, but once I got some quality sleep I began to write this blog: looking forward.
2015 is going to be a major year for me. I turn 65 in February. It’s daunting. I used to think that 65 was ancient. But now that I’m nearly there, I feel as though I’m just beginning. Like the t-shirt says: “I plan to live forever; so far, so good.” But I know my days are shorter than they used to be, and fewer in number than once upon a time. And yet, with that reality in mind, I still squander them. We all know our days are finite in number yet we all squander so much of our time. Maybe we need to, to remain healthy and important within ourselves.
Kevin, my cat, squanders time like a professional. But he has no legacy to build, no monuments to erect, and no audience to entertain or impress. He’s a cat. He has staff. He spends twenty hours a day inside his own head, napping. He has never once expressed to me concern that his time is wasted.
So perhaps “squander” is the wrong word. “Preparing” may be a better choice. Or: “being at play in the fields of my mind.” What we achieve is far more important than the amount of time it takes to achieve it. I remember one critic’s assessment of the composer Richard Wagner: “He lived sixty years, wrote sixty hours of music, of which six hours are brilliant – not a bad trade.”
There are a few things I want to improve about myself, a few places for improvement. I tend to forget to be grateful for what I have. And, I lack discipline. I do really want to improve on that: I am way too easily distracted. I seek distractions. Oh look! A squirrel!
With more than a little help from my best friend, editor in chief and bride of forty years, and others, I have already given the world a novel, a biography, and a good poem or two, like “Banned in Boston” and “Charles Sorley’s Ghost.” Hundreds of people have seen them. I want the number to swell to thousands, hell, millions – but hey, it’s not a bad trade, and I am only getting started.
I was born in Holland in 1950. My parents immigrated to the US when I was two. I have many close friends and family on both continents. My wife Diane and I have been happily married since 1974. I have four children and one grandchild (two more are on the way). I love writing and sharing what I wrote most of all..