January 1, 2021 – New Beginnings and New Endings

Is it just me or does it seem to you (the rest of you that take ‘happy pills’ to get through each day) that you took a placebo instead of the real thing? I could swear someone switched mine out! It sure doesn’t feel like it’s working. I don’t know, despite the new year and the possibility of things finally turning around, I still feel mired in last year and all of the negative emotions it encompassed. And I cannot seem to shake them. A crappy New Year’s Eve didn’t help but unfortunately, that’s the way they usually turn out. The holiday is always so built up. In nearly every movie that includes a scene from New Year’s Eve, there’s a big party and lots of merriment and drinking, everyone counts down from 10-1 to welcome in the New Year. Once the new year commences, you’re expected to plant a big smooch on whoever is nearby (unless it’s your boss, then I wouldn’t recommend it because it could be construed as sexual harassment) and then immediately commence singing ‘Auld Lang Syne’.

After that, it’s a wrap. Most people collect their coats and go on their way. A few stick around and continue to hit the booze and possibly pair up with another one of the ‘hangers on’. That doesn’t happen for us. My husband’s birthday is on New Year’s Eve and he always seems disappointed (just as I do every time my birthday rolls around). But this year’s celebration was even more disappointing, as I’m sure each of you experienced as well. Aside from getting a birthday card from me and phone calls from the kids, his birthday was just like any other day around here. Ordinarily we at least go and have dinner at his favorite restaurant and then to the theater to watch the latest blockbuster. This year? We watched a movie on our TV set and picked up lukewarm Mexican takeout for dinner. I should have done better. I could have at least bought some balloons and banners and made our home more festive, but I’ve been so down I haven’t had the desire to do much of anything, aside from sleeping.

Great! Now I feel depressed and guilty. Has anyone got any shame they’d like to share with me? I love shame! No, wait! How about some regret? You’ve got a little bit of both? That’s even better! Happy %$(&@#!! New Year! Yes, Happy New Year. A day of promise. A time to start anew. An opportunity to set lofty goals (resolutions) that will likely never be met. Sigh. Sorry to be such a wet blanket. I’m really struggling. The super-sucky Christmas and then closing the chapter on my last job, once and for all, followed by a yawn-worthy birthday for my husband and an exceptionally anticlimactic New Year’s Eve? What’s next? I hope nobody’s got their hopes up for Martin Luther King Junior Day because I can tell you right now, unless something miraculous happens, it’s going to be a turd. I guess if you work, there’s a good likelihood you’ll get the day off. There is something to be said for that. Just don’t get your hopes up because you’ll probably end up disappointed.

Aren’t you glad you decided to read my blog today? I bet you are! I’ve been thinking about what I want to do next with my life and ‘motivational speaker’ was something I think I’ve got a good shot at. I was going to include you as a reference. I hope you don’t mind. Seriously, folks. Things have got to get better! I’ve got to find a way out from under this dark cloud that’s following me everywhere. It’s getting old! What’s it going to take to ‘find my joy’ again? I’ve been thinking a lot about what brings me joy and it likely falls in the top 5 category for most people, ‘purpose’. Don’t have a purpose? I can tell you, not having young kids at home counting on me, not having a job, not having anything really to do at this point aside from daily chores, walking the dog and writing my blog, it’s getting tough! Each day blends into the next. Half the time I don’t even know what day it is anymore. The only reason I know when Monday rolls around is because the garbage truck pulls up in front of the house.

Still there? I’m amazed I haven’t run you off by now! Wow, you need to give yourself a pat on the back. What? Excuse me?! You think I’m capable of pulling this blog out of the weeds? That’s a tall order. But I’ll try. Hmmm. Well, what I was initially going to write about tonight was ‘new beginnings and new endings’. The ‘new beginnings’ part went hand-in-hand with the new year. It was supposed to be about leaving the past in the past and starting anew. About all of the possibilities to look forward to. I was going to ask each of you to look deep inside and ask yourselves to determine what motivates you, what energizes you, what brings you joy? What are you passionate about? Is it painting or writing or building or cooking or helping others? Please don’t tell me it’s gambling or drinking. If it is, let me know and I’ll see if I can refer you to a good therapist. I mean, those things might temporarily bring you something that resembles ‘joy’, but it’s not actually ‘joy’. It’s an illusion and it doesn’t last.

The ‘new endings’ part? I meant that very literally. Each day I write, I have to come up with a new way to ‘conclude’ or ‘end’ my blog post. I don’t like to write the same thing I’ve written before. Why? Because it seems lazy. I want each one to seem ‘fresh’ and ‘new’ and well-thought-out and witty and creative and clever. But you know what? I just realized, I get to make the rules with this thing. And trying to come up with a new way to say ‘goodbye’ each night is time consuming and exhausting. Honestly, do you folks really care? I cannot imagine you do! I just don’t want you to think I’m not taking all of this very seriously and putting everything I’ve got into it. And there are so many ways to ‘wrap it up’ at the end of each day! TV shows have it figured out. They often use the same music to lead in and lead out of their programs. Seinfeld had the unmistakable bass guitar ditty. Hill Street Blues had the piano. Gilligan’s Island had the flute. Well, great! I cannot exactly use music, although if I could, I’d be tempted to use the song ‘Goodbye Goodbye’ by Oingo-Boingo. It’d be a lively and fitting send off.

How about a jingle? Like the kind they use to get you to buy products on TV? I bet you know the one for Kit-Kat, “Gimme a break, gimme a break, break me off a piece of that Kit Kat Bar!” I don’t want to use anything like that. It makes me want to throttle someone. Remember the one for Double Mint Gum? I bet you do! And it really wasn’t even good gum, but that jingle convinced you to buy it. There’s also the one for Folgers Coffee, “The best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup!” That’s pretty catchy and it doesn’t make me want to hurt anybody. I wonder if I could come up with something (just as catchy) that would convince you to return each and every day? I’d probably have to include a subliminal message for it to be truly effective. And how to do that?! Do I insert ‘come back’ (in tiny font) after every 10th word? No, I don’t want to do anything like that. I just want to put something together that leaves both of us satisfied. And, there you go! Once again, you’ve got your mind in the gutter.

No, I didn’t mean it that way. Don’t make me have to pull out the bar of soap! Do you remember what it tasted like last time? Yes, Irish Spring! So you do remember! I know. It tastes terrible (and it smells equally bad). Who the heck came up with those ingredients? Obviously, someone who has a terrible sense of smell. Anyway, I got sidetracked once again. I was talking about the best way to ‘close’ or ‘end’ my blog each day because I’m tired of continually trying to come up with something new. Hang on! I think I’ve got it! I really hope you like it, because you’re stuck with it. “Thank you so much for stopping by. For the folks that are ‘following’ me, I am grateful for you and the continued interest you have in reading about the variety of things I talk about each day. I’m no poet laureate or anyone with significant credentials to speak of but I do enjoy the opportunity to share things about my life and family or to just make simple random observations. I love to write and I try to infuse humor into everything I do, especially when I write. And I hope I was able to make you smile, especially if you had a really crappy day. If all goes well and I haven’t run you off, I trust you will return tomorrow as will I.”

Happy New Year.

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