So, 2010, here we are, just when I was getting used to the idea that I had actually lived until 2001. I can’t help but reflect, not only on the last year, but the last few decades.
I remember going to the movies when I was a kid to see 2001: A Space Odyssey and wondering if I’d really live to see all the possibilities in that movie. It seems there are some clichés that endure, simply because they are so true. Time really does fly and life truly is short. In so many ways, we’ve advanced, yet in too many ways, we haven’t. I watch my daughter huddled in her room, texting, chatting on line or on the phone and realize that we have lots of new technology that seems to isolate us in a self sufficient sort of way, but we lack the ability to communicate and relate to each other in important ways, face to face. We are a nation divided against ourselves. We fear, we loathe and we avoid those different from us. We have no real progressive leaders of power and our government has steadily become ever more corrupt and powerful, controlling what we see and hear, irregardless of the truth. War is peace, freedom is security (that includes torture and indefinite detention of fellow human beings), and wealth is concentrated in the hands of a few, yet it appears the majority of Americans remain apathetic.
I’ve campaigned for the 18 year old vote, protested 3 wars, supported the impeachment of 2 presidents, been arrested for my beliefs, served and defended a Governor who became a disappointing President, attended the inauguration of Barack Obama, touched the healing rocks of Stonehenge, and given up my life long status as a Democrat. I’ve had two children and three marriages but not necessarily in that order. I’ve been through numerous jobs, addresses, phone numbers and names. I’ve been dirt poor and spent lots of money unwisely. I’ve watched family members die and lost a child to himself. I’ve tried religion and searched for faith. I’ve struggled and overcome enough to believe that the only one you can really count on is yourself. I’ve also learned quite well the joy of friendship and the destructiveness of hate and fear. I’ve been “in love,” but wondered if it was worth it. I’ve tried all kinds of therapy. I’ve analyzed my dreams and been medicated. I finally decided that there’s really nothing better than talking to a trusted friend.
Recently, I’ve been trying to learn that what makes us so unhappy is our own scripted lives – the one that perhaps our family or society has created for us; that the enemy is our own thoughts and the illusion of control; that we need to get back to the basics of our birth. So, should we just give it all up to the universe, or whatever we believe God to be, be quiet, stand aside and just allow the answers to come flowing freely? Maybe. But maybe I’m too old to learn that. You see, I’m not all that unsatisfied with my life. I like who I am and I really wouldn’t change a thing – well, maybe one thing. I have a logical mind, but I find it difficult making decisions, mostly because of so many wrong or irrational choices in the past. But I know that all these things have brought me where I am today and I’ve enjoyed the journey and learned so much. So, yes, there are times I believe we can give up and give in, be quiet and stand aside, but I also believe that He helps those who help themselves.
So, I guess, if there’s really any resolutions to be made here, it isn’t anything new, or something articulated once a year focused on setting us up for failure, but simply the reaffirming of ways to let go, move forward, do the right thing and try to make a positive difference in the lives of others. Is it really that simple? Maybe, maybe not, but I believe it’s a damn good way to start another new year.