Friday, December 31, 2010

The last post of the year

I will not be making any New Year’s resolutions. I gave up on that a few years ago because it made me even crazier than I already felt. The psychic equivalent of trying to squeeze my size 12 hips into size 8 skinny jeans. I don’t do that in real life, I have no illusions about my size 12-ness and I abhor skinny jeans. So why do it to my already overworked, overwrought, oversensitive psyche? 

There is something about this time of year though that makes millions of people feel the need to magnify their dissatisfaction with themselves and their lives and feel the need to fix it. All because of a date on a calendar. A date that is merely a number, an attempt to mark the passing of time which if you think about it, is like marking the sky with a grid. Marking all of space with a metal grid. You might as well try and lasso a cloud or keep a crocodile as a pet. 

I know it’s practical – to have calendars and diaries and planners. But you can also take things too far. I've tried not to be judgmental about this.  I mean, I know some people need to be shouted at and demoralised so that they can do what they want to do or need to do.  But I can't help it.  Do you even know anyone who has ever stuck to their resolutions or talk about them or remember them or give a flying monkey's testicle about them past January? Actually, it gives me hope that people don't stick to those resolutions. It gives me hope that there is something in our human natures that will not bend to something imposed upon it so unnaturally.

So the mocking continues. 

Enter reverb10. Now that it is nearly over, I can safely say that it has confirmed my suspicions and fears. It really was as insipid and facile as it seemed. If I had felt uncomfortable with New Year’s Resolutions before, having seeing the Future Tools that the team had to offer, I now see them as practically toxic. Not only have they benevolently offered us the tool of How To Create Your Personal Manifesto – a process that is more lengthy and complicated than a mortgage application (honestly – who has the TIME to dick around like that?) to ‘tools’ to help you MANAGE your New Year’s Resolutions.  Those pesky things! Who knew they could become so unruly, so willful? Maybe it’s just the witch (or the Darkness, if you prefer) in me that can’t help but see all of this as terribly desperate and controlling. Trying to nail down every ounce of uncertainty in life, every glimmer of the unknown and bring it into obedient submission. Stamp on those dangerous sparks before they catch and become an inferno. I understand something of that because my Inner Control Freak is freakin’ strong and smug.  But it doesn't stay smug for long, because life has a way of reminding us that it is not a straight line to be drawn with a ruler.

If some of this resonates with you but you still feel a need to take something with you into the New Year, then take this:

In some countries, the year isn’t actually 2010 on the verge of becoming 2011.  In Thailand for instance, it is the year 2553.  And their New Year begins in April.

“There is always something beyond what we know.” – Ernesto Neto (Brazilian artist)

"The wind will carry us..." Noir Désir – Le Vent Nous Portera (This is a link to a song on Spotify)

If you still feel the urge to make a list or create a solid shape out of those filaments of uncertainty, then at least try to go easy on yourself. Ditch the manifesto and write a moanifesto instead. Here’s mine:

A Moanifesto

Out of respect and awe for the Unknown and for the vastness and richness that is life,

-I will not waste time trying to lose weight or wondering whether I should give up bacon or getting myself into an exercise regime. Rather, I will enjoy my food and enjoy yoga because it makes me feel good and not because it is good for me.

-I will not endeavour to make any pragmatic or sensible decisions about “my future”. It follows that I will NOT at any time sit down to think about where I want to be in five years time. Or consider a job because it offers a pension scheme. Or try to improve myself in any way that would make a life coach or wellness consultant proud or happy. If I attempt any such moves, I authorise the minions of the Unknown to bitch-slap me.

-I WILL rant and use bad language.

-I will continue to start projects and do most things in a haphazard manner. I will become the epitomy of doing things willy-nilly.

-I will waste time.

-I will watch too much TV.

-I will stage wrestling matches (and pick alleyway fist fights) with my inner control freak and sometimes, I will win.

-I will try my damndest to annoy the fuck out of guilt so it leaves me the hell alone.

-I will not make any rules.

-I reserve the right to break the rules.

Now, don't make the mistake of trying to stay up till midnight to see in the New Year.  It's already happened in some parts of the world anyway, so you're too late.  Just go to bed, or get drunk or stoned and forget that one second after midnight, you are suddenly supposed to be a whole new person living a whole new life.  Don't say I didn't warn you.


tree shadow moon said...

Well said - agree with you on every single bit of it! Couldn't have said it better myself.
I only hope that 'Spotify' will have a new year's resolution of becoming available in Italy! In the meantime I shall go and listen to noir desir sing it on youtube, as it is one of my favourite songs ever. Ta!
Hugs all round!

Brenda said...

Loved this! I really hate the whole weight loss/diet frenzy that comes this time of year. Just eat and be happy, I say!

Jan said...

Oh what a refreshing read - your moanifesto! I love, love, LOVE it. Just what I needed to read this afternoon.

Anonymous said...

I fucking love you.

That's all, really.

(Oh, and received your postcards today! Thank you so much, they are beautiful. I've already, painfully, given one away as a 30 year anniversary card to my in-laws, who also squeaked with the beauty of it, so it has a good home. x)

Square-Peg Karen said...

Oh, how I LOVE your writing! Your blog is one of the masterpieces I found through #reverb10, so I'm grateful to it (the reverb thingy) for that!!

"It gives me hope that there is something in our human natures that will not bend to something imposed upon it so unnaturally." This is a brilliant and wise way to say what has been running thru my head for a long time, but refused to come out in more than grunts - YOU wrote it beautifully!!

Thank you so much for sharing your voice online -- you say things that I think, but can't find the right tone for -- somehow you write (or so it seems to me) the way Jon Stewart yaks on tv -- which is to say: bluntly and honestly while also kindly and humorously - I have NO idea how you (or Stewart) can do that.

I can say what I feel - when I"m not thrilled with something - but it comes out personal and full of argh/deathwish/anger, etc. whereas you seem to say "negative" things with a not-negative/not-personal tone. I bow to you!!

Elizabeth Marie said...

I do so love your moanifesto. I haven't been able to quit Reverb 10, but I'm not sure why. I suppose I'm trying to twisted it into something worthwhile for myself. I suppose bits of it have been good for me. And bits of it have shaved off some of my happy self. Ah well. I'm so glad to have discovered you. For that, I thank the Reverb 10 girls with great gusto.

I won't be sleeping at midnight my time. Teenagers will be in my house. Not sure how many, but a few. I. Can't. Wait.

Ragged Thread Cartographer said...

Found you via Skippedydoodah and you've already done me no end of good, making me feel great about my daft life. Going to print out your moanifesto and pin it to the fridge, so there.
Have a great New Year DESPITE and BECAUSE OF all we are. xx