Friday, January 01, 2010

Two Oh One Oh

Two-oh-one-oh. That's what my mom, who is nearly 82 and tends toward wild imprecision, calls this year. Last year was two-oh-oh-nine. "Two thousand nine, mom," I would correct her endlessly, and she would agree until the next time, and eventually I just had to give up. I wonder if it isn't an oldster inability, on her part, to wrap her mind around the fact that the name of the year now starts with "two thousand." It rolls off my tongue just fine. But maybe if I were 82 it would be a bit more conceptually difficult.

So, two-oh-one-oh. I always say that I'm not really one for reflection prompted by the calendar date, but that's a big old lie. Sometimes I'm happier than others to see the numbers roll over, to say goodbye to a certain period, but there's something satisfying in looking at a big chunk of time like a year to see what I think of it. And this one in particular is fun. Two-oh-oh-nine was a very good year, by my reckoning.

The main thing to recommend it was that I did everything I set out to do. Mind you, we're not talking about finding a cure for cancer or ending world hunger or fostering troubled teenagers. I didn't even pay that extra month on my mortgage that I always say I'll do when I get my tax return. My goals are generally not real lofty. I have a few directives to live by: Do no harm, be compassionate where possible, don't litter, don't gossip, and don't be lame. I hate—loathe—lameness, both personally and in general. But since I can't do anything about other people's lameness and it's pointless to even try, I just worry about my own.

And 2009? Was a year that I wasn't lame. I started blogging for Readerville at the beginning of the year, and while that was something I hadn't really given any thought to before beyond this chatty half-assed enterprise, I liked doing it right away. And when Readerville closed up shop in June my immediate, gut-punch reaction was that I'd start up my own damn blog. And I did. Like Fire launched in September, and within a couple of months I'd made friends with the fine people over at Open Letters Monthly and agreed to partner up with them. Today marks the official startup of Like Fire 2.0, official blog of Open Letters. And away we go.

It's not even a matter of how successful I was or wasn't with the blog. It's just that I said I was going to do it and I did. Maybe I'm setting the bar low for myself, but so be it. There was a bunch of other stuff: I got in the habit of walking a couple of miles with the dog every day before work; rescued a couple of beautiful cats on my block and found them a happy home, painted the downstairs apartment and got a nice tenant, worked hard at my job, took care of my mom, paid down a large chunk of debt. I ate well. Wrote a lot, read a lot. Didn't do anything particularly regrettable.

I can't even come up with any good resolutions—eat less sugar, call my friends more, sharpen my knives regularly—but that stuff is ongoing. Mostly I just want another year of not being lame, and continuing to have fun. Two-oh-oh-nine was fun. And if I can keep the basic momentum going for two-oh-one-oh, I'll be happy. That and make the extra payment on my mortgage come April. That would be pretty un-lame of me.
These fellows aren't lame either. They're just resting.

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Blogger Heather said...

A very happy new year to you!

11:14 PM  
Blogger Mary Catherine said...

Just read of a neighbor's resolution to Dress More European and after reading your post, I'm resolved to Be More Lisalike. HNY, baby!

4:59 AM  
Blogger Miss T said...

Happy New Year!

10:17 AM  
Blogger schmemily said...

Personally, I love setting the bar low. Not that I really think you did--and congrats on your blogging success--but small goals are the best sometimes. And happy new year to you--may we all be less lame in 2010.

6:56 PM  
Blogger Margarita said...

You said it - less lameness, more fun, (yes, some hard work). And of course, a gray stripey, an orange stripey and a black cat for good measure! S Novym Godom!

10:30 PM  
Blogger Katharine Weber said...

Looks to me like there's an empty corner on that bed crying out for another cat.

1:24 PM  

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