Reluctant Reflections and Non-Resolutions

Round Midnight

Sketch by Bohemian Opus

Around the end of the year, we Americans feel compelled to look at the past 365 days and decide what we can do to make the next 365 days better.

I was never one to get all excited over New Year’s resolutions. They always reminded me of my childhood when I had relinquish something for Lent.

“How about liver?” I consistently responded to the what-are-you-giving-up question. I hated liver.

According to the Chinese horoscope, 2013 will be the Year of the Snake—more precisely, the water snake. Snakes are not my favorite animals. I was much more excited about the Year of the Dragon. Dragons are cool.

Ancient Chinese wisdom says that people born in the Year of the Snake are keen, cunning, intelligent, wise and lucky. They are great mediators and good at doing business. The Year of the Snake is supposedly good for scientists and scholars. So far, none of these snake things apply to me. Maybe I should just skip this year and go straight to the Year of the Horse.

Some horoscopes say 2013 will be the Year of the Black Snake. I lived in Florida where there are black snakes that are also water snakes. Imagine the entire 2013-snake year wrapped up in one disgusting reptile. The Floridian black water snakes are very aggressive. If one of those critters gets into a swimming pool, it will chase whatever else is in the pool including humans. And it is impossible to outwit them. I tried.

But, I digress.

This year, on December 31 around midnight, I’ll probably do what I always do—drink tea and listen to jazz. Although I’m not one to list the five happiest, saddest or funniest events of the past year, I’ll probably drag out some photos and mull over a few of the more outstanding highlights—like the trip to San Francisco over the Memorial Day weekend. That was fun. I got to see my friend, Choogie, hike at Big Sur, visit some old hangouts and try out some new food. I’m always up for trying new food—unless it is snake.

Since I retired, every day has been just about perfect. The only exception being the time it has taken me to let go of my former lifestyle and embrace one that includes activities such as relaxing and contemplating my navel.

When I first left the workforce, I found myself stressing as if I still had a job. Everything was a task that I had to complete perfectly and on time. I guess it was sometime last spring when I realized that if my cooking sucked or I didn’t clean the bathroom, it would not be noted on my performance evaluation. I was finally able to exhale.

Then I got the urge to paint. I also thought about becoming a ballerina, but at my age, painting was more doable. I painted in oils many years ago, but when I moved from California to Florida, I became depressed and stopped. I didn’t think I would ever paint again until I returned to California and once again felt inspired. I figured I should at least give it a try.

I picked up a brush and enrolled in some online classes and a few workshops. After a shaky start, I realized that I had not forgotten much. I was a little rusty, but before long I was painting with confidence once again. Now painting, along with writing, takes priority over everything else.

I am not planning on making any resolutions—unless I resolve to never again clean the bathroom or do anything else that is boring. I have no regrets that another year is passing, and have no expectations or desires for the New Year. I’ll kiss the dragon goodbye and keep on living exactly as I do now—with the exception of maybe trying to make peace with the black water reptile.

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About bohemianopus

I live a gypsy’s life. I dance to the music in my head when no one else is looking. I can hear the stars sing, taste the sky, and see music in living color. I talk to animals. And the homeless. I believe that open fields are for flowers, critters, running, and making love – not war. I love to feel the sand between my toes, the wind in my hair, and the rain on my face. I often contradict myself. No I don’t. I hate to drive and sometimes hit the curb when I park. When I am bored, I fantasize about being a famous Broadway star. I do not know how to merge, speak Lithuanian or cook. I am West Coast in a Jersey sort of way. I can not tell a lie with a straight face. I think there should be an “off” switch for obnoxious, loud or boring people. I keep a sleeping bag in my truck in case I simply don’t want to leave. I once owned a heavyweight belt signed by Mohammad Ali. I am loved. Most importantly, I cherish each day as if it were my last.
This entry was posted in Art, California, Family, Friends, Living, Misadventure, Observations, Traditions, Travel, Writing challenges and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Reluctant Reflections and Non-Resolutions

  1. Greetings, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your writings and I am not making any resolutions either. Have a wonderful 2013 and beyond dear lady!

  2. Pingback: The Year of the Snake | J. Keller Ford ~ Author

  3. Pingback: Is 2013 The Year of the Snake? « A View from the Nest

  4. Lorena says:

    I’m SO glad you FINALLY stopped stressing about anything work-related — it took long enough. Hope 2013 is your most relaxing, rejuvenating and creative year, yet!

  5. Anne Chia says:

    I really enjoyed it! Have a great 2013!

  6. Cheui May says:

    Enjoyed your post. Just to let you know, both snakes and dragons are not your best friends. Next year, is the year of the wood horse. Horse, tiger and dog are all in the fire triplicity. Should bring you luck especially for you, a fire dog. I think you should really spend this year cultivating your dreams and next year, go make them all come true.

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