While the midwest was ravaged by subzero temperatures and literally everyone talking weather every minute of this week, I was being tortured by my own, weaker ghosts…
In bed, wearing every fuzzy sock at the bottom of my drawer (for a total layer of three socks at a time, per foot), I considered my blog, my thirty things, and sighed a lot. Because, with a new year comes new resolution, no? And what is the game plan here? I asked myself, seriously.
Splitting the list into its appropriate categories, this is what I found.
COMPLETED. CHECK. WIN. SUCCESS:
2. write a tragic fairy tale
3. learn to read a newspaper properly
7. discover something and share it with the world
10. go camping
13. build a fire
14. build a wedding cake
15. knit something wearable
16. learn another instrument
18. find photos a home
19. disappear one week at least
22. grow a garden
23. write a love letter and send it
29. teach something I know
WORK IN PROGRESS. ALMOST THERE. PENDING. MAYBE.
- 4. read War and Peace
- 5. speak French fluently
- 6. know flowers and their meanings
- 9. learn at least one more language
- 11. play piano “fluently”
- 17. read the Good Word in its entirety
- 21. read thirty favorite books of thirty favorite people
- 27. learn to sew
- 30. be in fantastic shape by thirty, at thirty
ATTAINABLE POSSIBILITIES, PERHAPS THIS YEAR. MAYBE. MAYBE:
- 1. ride a hot air balloon
- 12. catch a fish
- 26. ballroom dance
THE VAGUE. THE ABSTRACT. THE SERIOUSLY, WHAT DOES THIS EVEN MEAN? UNICORNS OF IMPOSSIBILITY:
8. have tea with someone famous or with someone who thinks i’m famous
20. draw a masterpiece (by someone else’s standard) and give it away
24. cross an ocean to visit a friend
25. pick up shark-ery of some sort
28. grant a wish, secretly
I suppose I can be a little grateful, that there are more on the ‘completed’ list than I imagined. But I’m not getting any younger, and the in-progress list is marked by some serious doozies. Why I thought learning languages and instruments were easy check-offs — baffle me. And of the thirty books of thirty favorite people, I have maybe read 7?
Then there are the ambitions that I’m just now realizing I don’t understand. My one celebrity sighting ever was seeing Dennis Rodman sitting in a shaded corner of a Baker’s Square, when I was ten. How was I planning to find a celebrity to have tea with? Or, in contrast, how was I planning on becoming a celebrity myself? And, I can’t even begin to fathom what I truly meant by “shark-ery.”
Ruminating deeply over all this, I suddenly remembered a lump beside me.
I had to laugh. The good life, isn’t it? Being safe indoors next to an entitled puppy trying to keep warm? Worrying about a list that I get to time travel to at my leisure? It was a proper spanking of gratitude. And, a little determination to do right by all this privilege I’ve been given.
I will make good of this list. Somehow. Someday the French will be useful. The instruments played. Wishes granted secretly. Art made and given away. I will catch a fish and serve it to you. Bake so many cakes, and feed multitudes. Clothe you. Love you. Love you.
I will love you.
Happy New Year, friend. Here’s to you and your resolutions, and much good fortune!