Tuesday, January 01, 2013

An Unconventional New Year

photo courtesy au.tv
Monty Python and The Holy Grail

Unconventional. How else can I describe anything about my life? I who wanted to be more conventional than anyone ever. My goal in highschool was to get married, have lots of babies and collect tupperware. I have not a single piece of tupperware.
So, this year I rang in the new year in the most unplanned, unreflective way.
A friend posted that the way you spend your New Year's Eve is the way you'll spend the rest of the year. In some ways, I hope that's true, and in others....not so much. The not so much is the crazier part than how I chose to ring in the new year...I'll get there.
 My Numero Uno is on the other side of the world, so I really didn't care what I did. I stayed with my friend's teenager while she went away for the holiday.
I'm so glad I did.
He is probably old enough to stay on his own, but something about this particular situation told me to go, and I knew it made my friend feel better.
The first night, I was so cautious about intruding on his life. I tip-toed around and basically passed out I was so sleepy.
But last night, we immediately started talking about everything. His Mom, Aunt and Uncle have been dear friends for over 20 years; I know a lot about this kid and his family. The words came pouring out of him. Before I knew it, we were sitting on the living room floor snuggled in blankets laughing and watching the time fly. He is one cool kid.
After a while, a good long while for a teenager and a "grown up" to have a conversation, we decided to watch his new extended edition Lord of the Rings. Our tummies were full, and we settled into the movie. We both fell asleep midway.
Here's the crazy part. They have an attack cat. You sit there smugly thinking how bad can a cat be? Do you remember the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog from Monty Python and the Holy Grail? Worse than that. It wants to tear any visitor to shreds. It doesn't wait for you to get too close for comfort, it comes after you, scratching and biting. Sometimes, I think it has wings. My first night there, we locked him away. But last night I felt sorry for him, and suggested we let him out, the creepy fiend. He patrols the room all slinky and slow. It was fine when we were awake, because if he got too close, the kid could shoo him away. The kid is the only one who can handle this cat.
But then....I was asleep on the couch, and the kid had carried himself off to his own bed. And I was alone. With the cat. Stalking me. Lurking. Sticking his face in mine with a menacing growl. Jumping up onto a high shelf cocking his head sideways like a Gremlin sizing me up. When he got too close, I lifted my down comforter like a shield.  We'd watched Lord of the Rings, I knew how to take action. What I didn't know how to do is go back to sleep with Jaws, I mean the cat in the room.
So I sat up and started reading on my computer. I used my phone as a light to keep track of where the cat was, because he likes to sneak up. Then I realized the kid was up playing video games. It was a relief to turn a light on, and know where that cat was. We started the new year being awake at 4 in the morning laughing about his crazy cat. Not at all how I'd imagine starting the year. But perfect.
This year....I'm going to turn a light on. I'm going to illuminate that which scares me and face it, that which is beautiful and that which brings joy and magnify it. And I'm going to continue caring for the people I love and be open to wherever the wind may take me; with the light on. Happy 2013!

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