I spent this morning perusing other people’s recaps and resolutions of the past year, upcoming year and the decade going in either direction. I read about engagements, weddings, new babies, new jobs, and dreams fulfilled. I also read about heartbreaking loss, the implosion of marriages, and posts about failure, lessons learned, depression and cancer. Fuck cancer.
As I grow older, I think it’s important to look back and document the things that have happened – both good and bad. They say 50% of the details of a memory change in a year. In my case, I’d be happy if I could remember 50% of the exceptional things that happened in my life. Forget about normal things. I don’t care what I ate for dinner two nights ago. I’m pretty sure it was good.
When you’re a humorist, you sometimes embellish or rearrange memories to make for a better story, or better comedic timing. It’s for the craft, you tell yourself. But you also know that somewhere down the line you’ll find that a revised story often becomes reality – one that makes you laugh harder or feel more proud or sometimes even more sorry for yourself. I think that’s okay, for the most part. We should all feel at liberty to do what we need to get through the day, as long as we’re not hurting anyone.
As I walk into 2020, I continue to think of my life as extraordinary. If I look back at the totality of my life, with every traumatic event I can also find at least one miracle, one lifeline, one outstretched hand that has pulled me up out of the water just enough so I could stay afloat. I no longer feel sheepish about giving credit to God (or the divine universe or a higher power) for giving me the eyes to see and seek help, and the will to live on the side of hope and optimism. That in itself feels like an extraordinary way to live, and I feel lucky having been wired that way.
And it’s also still hard.
Even when you can laugh in the face of pain, there’s still pain.
For 2020, I have no intention of “crushing it” or “making it the best year ever.” I have one goal – to continue to “be generous and kind.” It’s been my mission and my north star for a few years now, and I’ve found that without exception, it is the only path. Being generous and kind has acted as a panacea for anger and bitterness and the way out of sadness and depression. When I am feeling out of sorts, showing someone a little kindness feels like climbing one rung of a ladder that is aimed towards the sun.
This year, I am going to redirect much of that generous and kind spirit towards myself. I’ve been a bit neglectful of the things that make me happy or fulfill me, and feel a little depleted as a result. The year 2020, with all of its quips about clarity, hindsight, and vision, seems like a good year as any to focus (pun intended) some energy on me.
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TLDR: Be Cool
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