Sunday, January 01, 2012
Words in the New Year
I have been told my whole life to keep expectations low. If we keep expectations low, then we cannot be disappointed. I beg to differ.
I had no expectations of the transition from 2011 to 2012. And yet, I was a perfectly disappointed monster last night. I hadn't given much thought at all to what I'd do to ring in the new year. I could care less really. And after having been awakened at 4 am that morning, raging all night did not seem to be on the menu.
When I found myself at an event after all, having left a wonderfully warm and delicious house party, I thought the evening would be a breeze, as I had no expectations. I could just be. So I thought.
That is not entirely true. I could not just be. I had to navigate through crowds of people all doing the drunk bump up and down narrow corridors and on the dance floor. I wished I was wearing hiking shoes, as the flooring inside and out was a death trap. All evening, the heel of my boot managed to find every random hole in the floor or upturned brick. I craved a cane, or even a walker. I might have some rage issues, because I wanted to punch whoever invented the strobe light. Really only cool if you're totally hopped up on drugs. (I imagine.) I'm getting old, and though I've never been the cool kid, I'm now hovering somewhere in the negative numbers of cool. I'm going to have to start paying people to be cool for me. I look like I've been sucking on a lemon, and have to do things like go outside and pull myself together. Drunk people are maybe fun to watch if you can remain disengaged, but as an empath....not so much.
I told my Mom today that I wished I was Amish. I'll give you a moment to let that sink in.
I learned something today, that I think I already knew. You probably already know it too. You're probably even shaking your head at me right now forming the word "duh" under your breath. I think it is possible to keep expectations too low. I think it is possible I was so blase about the New Year that I had no intention. I think low expectations and a lack of intention, (and a lack of sleep) equals a very crabby woman wishing for a walker on a Saturday night. Sad. More importantly, if it's true that if you expect the evening to go poorly it will, then you should follow the converse; keep your expectations high.
I think it's possible to create a better outcome no matter where we start. I think always expect the best. Listen to your heart. Stay in good humor. Get enough sleep. Listen to your heart. Be honest. Be kind. Listen to your heart. Laugh. Laugh some more. And always. Listen to your heart. Did I alienate any men? Sorry. Listen to your heart anyway. Even if you claim not to have one. Because that's the other thing I learned. (again.) In my heart of hearts, I wanted to stay home. And I didn't listen to my heart. I have to laugh at how I proclaimed last week that each day is ours to do with what we will, and a week later I gave it away. Sometimes the simplest things are actually the most outrageous.
Today, the first day of 2012, the first words to pierce my heart that has felt like a bleak winter whiteout since 4 am yesterday were from Neil Gaiman. He says:
I hope you will have a wonderful year, that you'll dream dangerously and outrageously, that you'll make something that didn't exist before you made it, that you will be loved and that you will be liked, and that you will have people to love and to like in return. And, most importantly (because I think there should be more kindness and more wisdom in the world right now), that you will, when you need to be, be wise, and that you will always be kind.
Flowers are budding in my winter heart again. The thought of living outrageously unlocked my words, not just words for blogging, but words for living. It is the key that gives me something to be excited about this year. Listening to your heart will sometimes seem outrageous. Listen anyway.
May you have an outrageous year full of kindness, that which you give, and that which you receive. And may you expect the best, and receive that as well. Here's to expecting the best in 2012. (Unless the Mayans were right, and then well, shoot. Expect the best anway.)