Monday, December 28, 2009

Letting Go of Odd Numbers

by Julia Buckley
Christmas Day is past, and we all, hopefully, have happy memories of the time we spent with family and friends. We ate good food, opened nice presents, and--in the case of my family--sang carols in three and four part harmony that would rival the Von Trapp's holiday performances.

But now Christmas, like every holiday and every event in life, is something we will see only in retrospect. In fact, everything we do and say must be viewed through the rearview mirror, because as Kierkegaard famously wrote, "Life must be lived forward, but it can only be understood backwards."
So I'm preparing to let go of 2009 and look at it from my new vantage point. It's an odd number, and 2010 seems more promising at least in that it is more symmetrical. Maybe I'll even remember to write it on my checks. (It's not just that I might still write 2009--every New Year I have that one weird episode during which some crazy random year pops out: 1989 or 1992. The clerk who catches that one always gives me a weird look).

So just for the next couple of days (wherein, ironically, lies my birthday), I will enjoy that limbo moment when I can see both the horizon and the road behind me. They're both beautiful, and both hold promise. From one, I can always retrieve the happy memories (perhaps even slightly altered by time). In the other, I can pursue hopes and possibly even achieve them, one by one.

And, of course, I can make my resolutions. Maybe this year I'll just commit to a new mantra every day, like: What would a puppy do? or This day will be great because . . . .

May all of you enjoy the view both forward and backward. Any fun resolutions to share?

Happy 2010!

24 comments:

Sharon Wildwind said...

I know what you mean about weird numbers. For me, it's my maiden name. Every once in a while I'll sign it on a cheque or document for no apparent reason.

Elizabeth Zelvin said...

Lovely photos, Julia--and happy birthday!

Julia Buckley said...

These things are dormant, Sharon, but not gone. :)

Thanks, Liz! The top photo is my very own tree, and the bottom is one that I took back in 2006. One of my favorites.

Lonnie Cruse said...

Love the photos, Julia, and it's nice to know I'm not the only one who slides back into the 1990's every now and then.

Julia Buckley said...

Oh, you're not. And I sometimes do Sharon's maiden name thing, too.

But time is relative, right? So all of these years are sort of perched together on a continuum, isn't that what Einstein would say?

Sandra Parshall said...

The 2000s are still not quite real to me. But what a decade this has been. Remember when everybody was worried about the Y2K bug? I bought some memory modules or something of the sort from a retailer that included a little "Y2K bug" with every order. The one I got was a little plush ladybug, which I still have, several computers later.

Ten years ago, Twitter didn't exist. I didn't know anybody who blogged. Did Facebook exist then? I don't think so. None of us had published a book. I was discouraged, convinced I would never be published. Our lives are supposed to move fast when we're young, but mine has changed more in the past few years than in all the years before combined.

signlady217 said...

Today is an "odd" day for me. It's our 24th wedding anniversary, and I'm actually kind of surprised we made it this far! There have been a quite few rough spots along the way, but I'm very glad to still be with the one I love so dearly.

It usually takes me about a month to get used to writing the new year's number on checks and things, and occasionally do the maiden name thing, too! Just a weird kind of muscle memory thing, I guess.

Hope everyone has a great New Year!

Julia Buckley said...

Sandra, I so agree. My sister just told me that she drove our niece (aged 15) past our old high school. Across the street from it, now, is a U.S. Cellular store. My niece asked, "Aunt Linda, is that where you and your friends went to buy your cell phones?" Our children can't conceive of the idea that we didn't have phones, didn't have computers or e-mail, didn't have Facebook when we were their age. And Sandra? I'm glad we didn't. I can barely navigate it all as an adult.

Signlady, congratulations! Every anniversary is an accomplishment as well as a milestone, and long-lasting love is the product of hard work.

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