Moronic Musings

and other junk as it occurs to me.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Another Decade, Another Dollar

Well, it's December 31, 2009 and here we are.  We of the human race have somehow managed to make it to the end of another decade without destroying ourselves or being the victims of a global cataclysm.  Just exactly how we managed to survive is beyond me, given our propensity for war, calamity and the building of Large Hadron Colliders.  But still, here we are.  I'm deeply disappointed by the fact that a full decade into the 21st century we still don't have flying cars or android butlers, but I'm nevertheless encouraged that we haven't nuked ourselves out of existence and galactic memory.

My friends on that mother of all social networking sites, Facebook, are posting all kinds of questions about what people's new year's resolutions are, what highlights they hit in 2009, and even if their friends can sum the year up in two words (mine was "fine mess").  Being the introspective sort that I am, I'd rather take a look at what I've learned this year:

1. I've learned that no matter how I try to be something I am not, the Me that really is comes through anyway, so I might as well just be the original me.  I've also learned that the "real me" is actually an okay person, and I'm accepting that.  I don't think that I'm trying to meet some arbitrary, unattainable standard like I have for so long.  I have goals and ambitions that I work toward, but I'm no longer quite as hard on myself as I used to be.

2. I learned that Mojitos are tasty.

3. I've learned that I do not have to allow other people's hangups and problems become mine.  If you have your own special brand of crazy, good for you.  I don't need any; I'm good.  As Jack Nicholson so eloquently put it in As Good As It Gets, "Go sell crazy someplace else.  We're all stocked up here."  Some people seem to make it their life's work to draw other people into the morass that is their self-induced tragedy, and I've unfortunately fallen into that in the past.  Thankfully, I have a few friends around me who are so very grounded and sensible that I've been able to learn from their examples and be more conscientious about my own psychological defenses.  Basically, if you try to bring the drama, I'm gonna shut you down.

4. It's not a good idea to eat Italian for lunch and Mexican for dinner.  Trust me on this.

5. I have amazing friends who support me even when I don't think I deserve it.  Two things have reminded me of this in the past few months: my initiating this blog and my 40th birthday party.  I have received some very meaningful encouragement about my writing from people whom I admire and respect, and it has been the main reason that I'm still trying to get on here and write.  I know this is my first entry in over a month, but I'm still at it.  My 40th birthday party was better than I had hoped for.  I told Jen that I wanted a "big-ass party" for that milestone birthday, and she delivered.  Robin and Carmen, two of my dearest friends from high school, actually flew up from Florida for the event.  Just seeing them was enough to make it a chart topper, but there were so many of my friends, co-workers and family there that I felt like Lou Gehrig: " -ay-ay... I consider myeslf -elf-elf... the luckiest -est-est man -an-an... on the face -ace-ace... of the Earth -earth-earth."  Thank you, friends old and new.  Thank you, family.  And thank you, Sue, for the use of your beautiful home.

6. Love can get you through a lot of crap.  This sounds oversimplified, but it's true.  It doesn't matter if it's issues involving kids, friends, or your spouse.  If you love them and you mean it and - and this is the important part - you show it, things can and almost always will work out.  This year, Jen and I have seen our family healed in ways that we had only hoped for.  We're still very much a work in progress, but we're gaining ground every day.  As I write this, 3 of our 4 kids are here with us playing Rock Band II and having a great time.  The fourth is at work and will be here later.  1 Peter 4:8 (NIV) says "Love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins."  This is the truth; I've seen it firsthand.

That's my list of a few things I've learned in 2009.  What about you?  Learn anything good?  Let me hear about it.

Happy New Year!  May you be blessed and enriched in 2010.