January 1, 2019

eschewing the calendar

I recently posed the question in the "game of tag" regarding whether the respondents observe significant events and anniversaries around the calendar year, or whether those things are left to drift and float and are brought to light when reminders appear, regardless of the date, the time.

I've always held close to the calendar.  In part, this is because of my memory and synaesthesia.  I remember that Ronald Reagan's birthday was February 6 because that was the same day as my childhood friend Kendra's birthday.  I met Nanci Griffith on October 24, 1998.  P.J. gave me her aunt's heirloom ring as a token on March 9, 2007.  Most dates bring something to mind, tinged with color, associated with weather and the slant of the sunlight, but far more based on a printed calendar, a number line in my mind that looks like a paperclip.

I still do the freaky date recall thing, but New Years Eve got on my nerves this year.  Last night I combed through Facebook and found any mention of resolutions and fresh starts to be unbearably annoying.  I stomped around the house a lot.  At midnight, I could barely be arsed to observe our family tradition of watching the ball drop and opening the back door to let out the old year.  I did it anyway, because tradition, but it was devoid of meaning, save that later, I'll look back and be glad it was done.

The dates are losing their meaning - and, more to the point, I am beginning to suspect that they're harmful to me.

It's warm out today, but the barometric pressure of social conformity presses down on me anyway.  I need to make a resolution.  And I know what that resolution is going to be.

Except for reminders in my Google calendar, needed to keep me from forgetting to put pants on in the morning and pick The Kid up from school and show up at the dentist, I am going to rip my gaze away from the calendar and, instead, focus on each day.

I know this is going to take serious practice.

I also know that it's the only thing that will save me.

It's the thing that will allow me to lose the weight I've gained back these past few months, because I'm the sort that looks ahead and feels doomed to "forever" and oppressed by the expansive terrain of the future.  Instead, I resolve to choose each morning what to do with that day toward the end of taking better care of my body and reversing the damage done.  If I fail, I have only fallen off a one-day-long bandwagon.

It's the thing that will allow me to release some of my anger at my disease.  I view it as a life sentence to be served, no time off for good behavior, no parole.  I want to learn to see it as a single state contained in a single day, whatever it may be, and address it as such, a string of pearls instead of a solid, infinite chain.

A friend shared a phrase in an e-mail years ago with P.J., who then shared it with me.  "Observe and allow."  I often think I need to buy some sort of book on how to be a Buddhist and start learning more.  Begin changing.

If I go for a walk today, it doesn't mean that I have "begun walking" and am hereby committing to walking every day for the next five months.  It doesn't mean I have to get used to wearing my step tracker again and deal with the pink ring of irritation around my left wrist.  It means I am going for a walk today.

That's as far as I've gotten in making a resolution.  I've likely set the bar too high.  For all that, it seems worthwhile.

1 comment:

  1. Lille, what you write reminds me of when my son Ryan was in grade school. One of his teachers made a point of letting the kids know every morning when they began class that today was a new day. A clean slate. That day was theirs to make of it whatever they so choose. Yesterday was over, to be put behind them. Today was what mattered. I try to keep that in mind, especially when I start feeling overwhelmed. It is just this moment right here and now that matters and I get to control what I'm thinking and what I'm doing and much of how I'm feeling.

    For the first time, ever, David had to wake me up so I wouldn't miss the start of the new year. I'm not sure what that means other than yesterday (last night) I was dog-tired; however, it's been a pleasant start to 2019 at our house. There's nothing earth-shaking going on -- good or bad. So, yeah. I'm kind of digging it. I'm about to head off to make spicy black-eyed pea soup; for traditional good luck -- and for dinner! Hopefully, my daughter will stop by some time today/this evening (to pick up her laundry and eat some black-eyed peas as well!) Tomorrow, I hope to hit the floor running. But today, I'm catching up on some excellent reading (your blog) and I'm cooking dinner for my loved ones! Who knows, maybe like you, I'll even go for a walk later on and take Buddy along! We'll see how it goes. Have an awesome start to this one moment, my friend! Mona

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