Except This Time I Mean It
Every December 31st I take the time to reflect, count up fingers, toes, appendages ensuring that nothing was hacked off in August that I'm just realizing now. I note that most of the scars are healing and congratulate myself for having come out of the other end of another year alive and relatively unscathed.
And so here we are, all present and accounted for and relatively unscathed. Tomorrow, we'll get up and start it all again hoping it will be better but pretty much resigned to it being the same and not worse. That's ok. The same and not worse is a good thing for those of us who, like me, worry about every damn thing that can, can't, won't or might really screw things up.
New Year's 1972: Stayed up until midnight, saw 1973 ushered in and was thankful that another year had passed without the Soviets nuking us into the stone age. Also the bully kid from down the block seemed to have lost interest in following me home mumbling "how about I punch you in the face?" under his breath.
New Year's 1977: With the parents out at a party, midnight came and I thought I'd celebrate like an adult. Have a drink. So I poured the better part of a fifth of Canadian Club into a water glass, lit a candle and raised a glass. Somewhere around May of 1978 I realized the holiday was over.
New Year's 1982: Still no Soviet apocalypse but my date woke up with a sinus infection and the couch we spent the night on was upholstered in 80 grit sandpaper. Let's forget this one too.
New Year's 1999: Watched the fireworks of Sydney harbor on TV and realized that all the lights had not gone out, the internet had not crashed and the Dell upstairs running Windows 98 was not going to pick up a hatchet and come looking for me.
New Year's 2005: The Russkie threat is long gone, there hasn't been an attack in four years. Ok, the marriage went into the crapper a few months ago but I'm on a bus to New York to run a midnight race with some significant arm candy. We'll wind up in our own respective homes come morning but for the moment let's pretend that ignoring the sub freezing Central Park temperatures are worth it. It's been a hard year.
New Year's 2009: Holy shit! Is the ride stopped yet???
New Year's 2011: Very little good has come from this year but not much disasterously bad has happened either. For a compulsive worrier, it's been like a stable low-level anxiety that's wound its way through the past 12 months. And yet, for all that's not blown up like a magnesium pile, I'm getting a little tired of reaching a milestone and saying "whew!" I miss some of the occasional risk-taking of my younger years. I miss being out on that ledge. I miss pitching all my forces into the fray and holding my breath. So let's stir things up a little. In less than a week, I'm going to hot up a cold war we've been fighting for the last four years. The details are unimportant but I'm tired of going along to get along. Enough said.
On other lines; Vladimir: Do you still have those SS-20's we all worried about? You know I stole the launch codes in '86. Care to try your luck?