Tag Archives: New Year

Happy New Year 2013…Let’s Hope 1/1/13 Brings 13 More Blessings Than Superstitions!

Lucky number 13.

At least, that’s what this year brings, right?  1/1/13.  I know, I know…technically it’s TWO-ZERO-13, but still…seeing that “13” hanging off the end there is enough to make even the least superstitious a little nervous.

So, will this be a year of broken mirrors, opening umbrellas in the house, black cats, and walking under ladders?  Or, will it be a time of truly wonderful omens and special opportunity?

I laid in bed for a few extra minutes today and stared at the ceiling.  I thought about 2012 and all of its past glory and really had to smile.  It was quite a year for me, and I’m sure for you, too…whether or not you know it.  Not that much “exciting” really happened to me, but it certainly was a time of near misses, false starts, new beginnings that turned into false starts, and…well…let’s just say I still have all 10 fingers and all 10 toes and am counting my blessings for it.

I’m not really a resolution man by nature, so I won’t engage in too much of that here.  But if you know me, you know I’m counting the ol’ blessings every second I can, just in case.  So, since we’ve narrowly avoided a fiscal cliff and a Mayan Apocalypse, let’s take some time to count some before the cliff drops off…13’s a nice number, don’t you think?  Some of these may be a bit obtuse, but again, if you know me, well…then that’s no surprise!

1.  Near miss in hospital avoided for one whom I love.  Heard the phrase “just in time” one time too many for my liking, but so far have not heard it again.  All’s well going into 2013.  There was good spirits, laughter, and positivity the WHOLE time it was going on, and there continue to be, and yes…that made all the difference.

2.  Conversations about new ventures are ongoing with some really cool people.  Why count this?  Because instead of being stuck in a rut bemoaning the state of things, it’s actually nice to be able to think about fresh adventures and see them unfold.  I’m open to that.  I have that opportunity.  It takes work, but I’m happy for it.

3.  Chicken parm.  That’s right.  I know it’s not a hospital near-miss or the promise of a new business venture, but it’s delicious, right?  Right.  Enough said.

4.  The new playlist in my car.  Yup.  I listen to certain things in the morning to get me spiritually motivated, but in the afternoon?  Well, in goes a playlist of songs that I love to rewind:

Speed of Sound by Coldplay

Bittersweet Symphony by The Verve

Afternoons & Coffeespoons by Crash Test Dummies

April Come She Will by Simon and Garfunkel

Bitter Tears by INXS

The Broad Majestic Shannon by The Pogues

This Cowboy Song by Sting

Glory Days by Bruce Springsteen

Strawberry Swing by Coldplay

Hannah Jane by Hootie and the Blowfish

Lonely Girls by Ian & Sylvia

Only Living Boy in New York by Simon and Garfunkel

Talk by Coldplay

Wisemen by James Blunt

Time to Move On by Tom Petty

Tiny Daggers by INXS

Trip Through Your Wires by U2

What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?  by REM

Why Should I Cry for You? by Sting

Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall by  Coldplay

Yes…thank goodness for that playlist.  Doesn’t get too too much better than that, my friends.  Go ahead.  Take your shots at it.  I’m immune.

5.  My agent.  Have to thank her again.  Why?  Just ’cause.  Y’know.  Just ’cause.

6.  Fresh faces and friends in 2012.  New spaces to fill with those new people in 2013.

7.  When I saw darkness in 2012, I was able to reframe it to see the message instead of trying to yell at it to become light.  Thank you 2012 for that.  Thank you thank you a million times thank you.

8.  That I continue to be able to forge ahead.  Thank you, 2012 for allowing that, too.

9.  I’m blessed for the ability to count blessings.  Yes.  Gotta list that one.  Thank you, Universe, for even allowing a count to happen.

10.  Thank you for dreams and reality.  Why?  Because when the line blurs, we know we’re on to something.  If you haven’t reached this state in life at least once, try it.  See that your world is nothing more than smoke and mirrors.  It’s interesting!

11.  Thank you for teachers, students, and the ability to connect with both.  You need to talk to people who think like you once in a while.  They’re your feel goods.  But, yes, you need to learn from the ones who yell at you for what you think.  Sorry.  That’s life.  But look for the people who believe what they believe out of conviction, and not because they’re told to believe or or believe it because of some lame news station.  Be a true teacher and a true student.  Nice.

12.  Thank you for the spice of life.  It ain’t always sugar.  It ain’t always lemons.  Sometimes…well…sometimes it’s just right.

13.  And lastly?  Thank you for allowing me to be Nobody in particular.  I love my Nobody brothers and sisters.  And, the more I watch reality TV, commercials, and sports (the NBA), the more glad I become for this one.  Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you a million times thank you to whatever is running this Universe that the world is not really about (at least I HOPE it’s not about…) the most money, taking talents elsewhere, or being “in”famous.  Thank you for quiet rooms, conversation over coffee at the local wherever, a special playlist, an honest day’s work, and knowing that when we point to heaven after something special, we know that everyone else is just as loved….Universe, we know you don’t only care about three pointers, touchdowns, winning a voice contest, and sunken putts.  These are special things, yes.  These are karmic things, I know.  But at the end o’ the day, you present glory to see how we handle it.  I have to believe you just want us to simply be grateful for what we have (except for the occasional blog post…sorry!), and we know you love that pitcher whether he gives up the homer or not.  I’m grateful for knowing that, even though I’m not a pitcher.

So, I know I said I wouldn’t make a resolution.  But I will.  As January 1, 2013 comes and goes I will vow only to do my best to keep on moving ahead.  To be open to new opportunity.  To let the past be the past.  To let the future be the future.  And…well…to keep on being the best Nobody I can be.

From this Nobody to you, whomever you are, have a safe, happy, and blessed 2013.

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Newtown, Connecticut Shooting Puts the Year Behind, and the Year Ahead, in a New Perspective

It’s usually at this time of year when I write my yearly round-up.  I mean, not that anyone gives a lick, but I like to write it.  It makes me feel better about things, and it always helps to get some perspective going into a fresh 365 days.

There’s nothing wrong with that, right?

And, after all, the Mayans are telling us the end is near (it’s not–it’s actually a new beginning) this December 21, 2012, so…I felt like it was time to do it.

But I held off for the last few days.  I didn’t write it until today.

Why?

Well, the December 14 school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.  26 killed.  I realized that the year behind, and the year ahead, were already squarely in perspective.

I read an article about the global outpouring of support for the victims’ families and the Newtown community and it really got me thinking, again, about the line we walk in our world between global animosity and global togetherness.  We are so close to being a world community.  The reason we seem so far apart is likely not due to your average person’s difference of opinion, but more to do with unfortunate leadership around the world.

People on their own are generally good.  At least, that’s what I choose to believe.  If you need help in a parking lot or at the side of the road, most good Samaritans won’t ask your political affiliation or your view on the Second Amendment, abortion, or the last election.  They’ll just assist.  If you drop a dollar, many people will pick it up and yell, “Hey!  Wait!”

Most people.  Not all.

We don’t generally have litmus tests for basic assistance or casual acquaintance.  Some do, yes.  Many don’t.  If you’re American and dining in Canada, the service will be like it is for any Canadian.  At a resort in Mexico, it’s okay to speak Russian.  Indian curries are fine to cook in Italy, and I had darn good roast beef in Kenya many years ago even though I’ve experienced it in an NYC deli as well.  We share religions across borders, appreciate or take on foreign customs, and see movies about events that take place many miles, or countries, away.

Not everyone is on board with this.  Some are.  That’s fine.

So, when I think about Newtown in what Paul Simon might call this “deep and dark December,” I prefer to think about the outpouring of support from around the globe.  Of the prayers that go out to those we don’t know.  Nobody I know really cares if the victims were Muslim, Christian, Hindu, or whatever.  We all turned on the TV to see the shock of lives lost.  Not Christian lives lost, but lives.  Not Buddhist children lost, but children.  Tragically.  And worthy of memory.

As I sit here now and reflect back on this year, I see it was full of ridiculous stars full of themselves saying ridiculous things.  There were new launches of more TV shows about people famous for being famous.  I encountered darkness in the least likely of places, but then again, also saw light in unexpected corners of my days.  There was work in places I never thought I’d return, but then there was another job waiting right where I’d left it last January 1.  There was a third job that came from nowhere.  All around there was a bad economy, racism, hatred, bigotry, a hotly contested election, people living lives with bold attachment to lies when the truth was just a simple channel click, book, or class away.  There were those that screamed, and still insist, we should never help others, even in circumstances beyond their control, but there was also a policeman that put shoes right where they belonged and people pulling together in the aftermath of a terrible storm.  Some came down from the ledges of hard life.  Some jumped into a new adventure.  Some moved on for new adventures and some stayed firmly entrenched in their old prisons while the keys to freedom were dangling just outside their self-imposed cells.  I learned some new things, let go of some old, read new books from friends and discarded old book ideas of my own.  Blood, tears, death, and taxes all made their appearances, but so did new nieces and fresh ideas.  I wasn’t always happy.  I wasn’t always sad.  I helped.  I sat idle.  I received help.  I prayed.  I sent prayers.  I knew I was on a good road even when others thought I had somehow missed a really important turnoff.  Thank goodness I kept driving.

But then, there is Newtown, Connecticut.  And it all snaps into place again.  All possibilities collapse into one moment in December when fame, fortune, freedom, and fallacy don’t matter.  It’s all about a different energy.  I can’t describe it yet, but it was clear while watching the news last Friday.

I’m going to move into the new year the same way I always (try to) do.  With a sense of optimism, confidence in my decisions, and a desire to do a little better.  No, not how someone else with an agenda of their own thinks I need to do better, but how my gut tells me I need to do better.  Usually, people who tell you how you’re mistaken or screwed up are only trying to sell you their own version of events or brand of regret and…well…no thanks.  You can put that advice in your pocket!

So, let me leave you with this: A happy holiday season.  A happy Hanukkah to my Jewish readers.  A blessed Christmas season for my Christian readers.  A happy Kwanzaa for my readers who celebrate.  And a happy travel down your chosen paths, whatever they are.

Let’s remember the most recent tragedy in America so we can figure out how we might move into 2013 with a different energy.  Let’s take a look at an event that matters, so that we know what we need to be in a different mindset this coming 365…a mindset of support, regardless of personal characteristics that, quite frankly, pale in comparison to what we have that we can share.

Nobody’s View’s 2012 List of 12 New Year’s Resolutions That May or May Not Stink

Welcome to the New Year 2012.

Take a big whiff of January.  Go ahead.  Take it in.  It still has that “new year” smell.  Eventually there’ll be some fast food in here, some cat pee, and a smoker who hitched a ride, but right now, it still smells great!

*Sniiiiiiiiif*  Ah, the new year!

So, what should we do with this shiny new beginning?

Well, how about starting with some 2012 New Year’s Resolutions?  No?  Well, too bad.  That’s what today’s post is all about.

We here at Nobody’s View really aren’t big on resolutions.  I mean, why do that to yourself, right?  If you don’t like your image or your thoughts or your…whatever…I doubt making a promise right up front of the ol’ 365 is going to make it better.  Oh sure, you might have good intentions, but if you end up falling short (which I do quite often), you’ll only end up feeling worse about things.

So, let’s try something different.  Let’s go for some bizarro-resolutions.  Resolutions we’d make if we lived in a different world.  An opposite world.  A world where things could actually get resolved.  Ready?  Let’s try it.  In fact, let’s make the Nobody’s View list of 12 2012 resolutions that might get something resolved.

1.  This year, I’ll resolve not to exercise every day, but to make friends with down time.  That’s right!  Instead of bemoaning the fact that I can only get out and pound the pavement three days a week to get the ol’ heart rate up, I’ll pick up a hobby to make me feel productive even when I’m sitting on my butt.  Something like reading, more guitar, or nookie.

2.  This year, I’ll resolve not to make to-do lists, but instead, learn to use my days the best I can.  Yep!  Less lists and more just kinda doing things when they need to get done.  Hammer the nail when it needs nailing.  Fix the leak when it’s leaking.  And for the love of God, if it ain’t broke or dirty, don’t fix or clean it.

3.  This year, I’ll resolve to pay debts I owe to myself.  Bingo!  There’ll always be someone who thinks you owe them something for one reason or another.  They think you owe them money, time, respect, or whatever.  Maybe you do.  Maybe you don’t.  Forget it!  Spend more time taking care of what you need to take care of and less time worrying about all the hands grabbing at your heels (or your wallet).

4.  This year, I’ll do it my way.  Nice!  Think this only applies to one fast food chain’s burgers?  Think again.  You’ve made it this far in life doing whatever it is you’ve been doing.  Not everything you do is wrong.  Trust me.  Oh, I know you have someone in your life who wants to tell you your way is wrong, your hair is wrong, your something or other is wrong.  Well, tell ‘em where they can shove it.  Take the best of the advice you get and leave the rest for the wolves.

5.  This year, I’ll write what’s in my heart instead of what the market will bear.  You know it!  Any of you have a novel started, but there are voices telling you it needs more silly teen vampires, werewolves, or some honey-dripping insanity?  Well, you write what you want to write.  Write from the heart.  Write about vampires, werewolves, and honey if that’s what you are truly passionate about!  Write because it feels good to tell a story, not sell a story.

6.  This year, I’ll take a trip to that less-popular destination in the off-season.  Yep yep!  I once went to a national park in Utah in the dead of winter.  It was freezing.  It was snowy.  It was icy and bitter.  It was also empty, peaceful, and bore the most amazing images I’ve taken yet.  Crowded isn’t better, my friend.  Sometimes it’s just more crowded.

7.  This year, I’ll try a new thing because I want to try it and not because someone else is shoving it down my throat.  Killer!  I know your aunt loves her Brussels sprouts.  I know your bff has the “perfect” person to introduce you to.  I know someone else thinks those glasses will look great on you.  But you know what?  If you don’t want it or don’t wanna do it, DON’T!  It’s your life.  So few years folks.  So little time.  Do what you want.  Do what you need.

8.  This year, I’ll be more authentic, even if it annoys people.  Zow!  People will get annoyed with you.  They will.  Not because you’re annoying, but because they have issues.  And their issues conflict with your issues.  If you know a depressing person, laugh anyway.  If you want to sit up front and raise your hand, do it!  You want to go out in a pink hat with an orange shirt and slippers?  Go for it.  Be nice.  Be respectful.  Be helpful.  But above all, be you.

9.  This year, I’ll share more but will decay less.  Zounds!  What does that mean?  It means this: you have a good heart.  You give to others.  You are there for that other person in #8.  But if you are “there” at the expense of yourself, or if you are wilting so that they can grow, you’re actually hurting the situation.  Be the good and amazing person you are.  But make sure you take care of you so you can keep on being that person.

10.  This year, I’ll listen less to the pundits and more to my soul.  Bang!  Those talking heads on TV are the absolute very last people you should be basing your decisions on.  Like what they say?  Great.  Listen.  Then measure it against your own life and needs.  I have known argument bullies whose hate and bile match only what they hear on TV.  They touted it like it was gospel and beat others with it like a bat.  Screw that noise.  Follow your conscience, get to know your neighbor, and learn to see more than what the tube can tell.

11.  This year, I’ll move out of the comfort zone.  Great!  If you don’t know people of a particular ilk, seek them out.  If you judge the poor for panhandling on your snazzy street corner, work with them for a few days on their turf.  If you have a bias, test it.  If some political-pundit talking empty head says something you disagree with, don’t feel you have to agree because he or she is in “my party.”  If you want something new, find something new.  Try tuna.  Watch sports with your significant other.  Then, the next night, head for the ballet.  Buy your first suit.  Ditch an old one.  It’s your life.

12.  This year, I’ll leave the resolutions behind the minute they don’t suit me, for I know situations change, people change, and, above all, change changes.  Amen!  Not much else to say here.

So, there you have it.  The Nobody’s View 12 bizarro-resolutions.  They make sense in some twisted way, don’t they?  As you “sniff” around in that list, remember – take the ones you want.  Leave the rest.  Wrap fish in ‘em all.  Do what you will.  But in the end, this year is only what you make it.

Have a wonderful January 2012 and beyond.  Oh, and if you need some help as the days go by, just follow your nose.  The year isn’t all smelly.

An Old Flannel Shirt Somehow Makes the New Year 2012 Cold Merely “Cold”

I’m lucky.

I live in a place where cold is spelled “cold.”  You have to have those quotes in there, or it’s not written correctly.

I like it that way.  I’ve lived in places where cold is spelled without the quotes, and honestly?  Well, I like it here.  I know plenty of people that live in cold (no quotes) climates and they seem generally happy, and I wouldn’t rule out ever moving to a colder place, but for me?  Well, there’d probably have to be mountains around upon which I could ski.

Yup!  That’d make all the difference.

But today, I had a memory of those colder times in my life.  See, I had the day off work, so I decided to do something productive and wash my car.  With the hectic pace of life, chores have to be squeezed in whenever.  And it was a good day for it.  The sun was blazing, but I still put on the sweat pants and the shirt.  When I went outside, I noticed there was still a little “chill” (note the quotes?) in the air, so I came back in the house, reached down into the deep, dark bowels of my closet, and pulled out a flannel shirt.

Yeah, yeah…get your jokes out now.

See, when I was in the college in a cold, cold, cold (cold!) Midwestern town, I had a full closet of ‘em.  Flannel everywhere!  Oh, and before you get too snarky, it was in the early ‘90s, so it was a rule that every college student had to have a full battery of flannel shirts in deference to the gods of the Seattle music scene, or something like that.

But when I put it on, I paused in front of the mirror for a second and looked at myself.  Memories flooded back of all the places I’d worn it.  The concerts.  The snowy treks to parties and performances.  I thought about the tears, laughter, lattes, ink, late-night pizzas, and all the other emotions and activities that are now as much a part of its fabric as the blue and green dyes.

That was a time.  Now is a time.  The shirt bridged the gap.

The shirt is smaller now and a lot less warm than I remember, but it still fits.  Nevertheless, I realize that I have outgrown it.

Think of it this way: in college, that shirt was a uniform of sorts.  It was part of who I was at a certain time in my life.  It was a go-to.  A regular.  A comfort.  A shield against the snow.  But now?  Well, now it’s something I haven’t worn in 15 years.  It’s buried under newer, more stylish attire appropriate for social settings and the office.  It did its dirty duty today in 2011 for 30 minutes in the driveway and that was that.  And, had I picked a different corner of the closet, it would likely lay inert for 15 more years.

Where am I now?  Well, a new year is coming.  Can’t deny that, right?  No matter how comfortable and warm the last 365 days have been, a new calendar of months always comes around, even if we’re still wearing the old one.

January 1, 2012 is right around the corner.  We’ll make new resolutions in an effort to shed the old clothing and don the new—ready or not.  We’ll gather with friends and family, or a mug of tea and a journal, and re-live the older days of lives in progress.  Maybe we’ll take some of that stuff out and wear it for a little while longer.  Who knows?  But no matter what, much of what we have done will end up in the closet under the newer things that will also someday pass into memory.

But that ol’ flannel shirt.  No matter how far onward I go, it will likely always be there, waiting patiently for my mind to remember.  It will have a purpose long after I have forgotten its everyday utility.  It will be there.  Waiting.

Nevertheless, if it could talk, I know it would tell me to march into 2012 with a full heart.  It would say, “We had many days of comfort and warmth many years ago, but let 1/1/12 wash over you with sun, snow, sleet, rain, or whatever weather greets your days in the West!  Be unafraid.  Welcome new people, adventures, projects, and dreams.  Remember the idealism of when you wore me.  Continue to live out loud, no matter who tries to muffle your screams for a better tomorrow!”

Yep.  Mr. Flannel would say that.  I have no doubt.  He’s a good shirt.

But then he would remind me, quietly, to every once in a while dig into that closet.  Pull him out and put him on.  See if he still fits.  Take him for a spin in the driveway while doing some chore or another on the eves of new years.  Enjoy a memory.  Feel his warmth that was one so integral to a cold Midwestern night.

Then, when I put him away again, he would tell me to let it be lovingly and with appreciation.  After all, I never know when he might come in useful again someday in the cold or “cold” of an exciting and vibrant new year.

You know?  Maybe I’ll leave that shirt out for a day or two.  I’ll put it away after 2012 has begun….

Happy Chinese New Year 2011 – Year of the Rabbit…

Are you smart?  Dare we say, wise?

What about talented?

Kind?

Do you like Angelina Jolie and Kate Winslet?

Well, if you are these things or like these things, and you are possibly a little lucky as well, then Chinese astrology suggests you might be a rabbit.  That’s not to say, of course that you can’t be/like these things if you aren’t a rabbit, but, y’know…let the rabbits have their year, man.

For all of us, however, the Year of the Rabbit is, according to Chinese astrology, the fourth stop in a 12 year cycle marked by other animals such as the Rat, the Dragon, the Tiger, and the Dog.  Rabbit years are a time to slow down and reflect…a time to catch up and get with it.  Put the emphasis on the home and on the family.  Love, kindness, and beauty are the hallmarks, so make 2011 all about that warm and cozy, even when things are spiny and prickly.

Look folks, whether or not you believe in astrology or Chinese astrology, doesn’t matter.  We all need downtime.  We all need beauty.  We all need some kind of feeling of home and hearth, even if we don’t have the Norman Rockwell home.  Take a Rabbit Year as an excuse to slow down and ponder…

You never know what the next year will bring (actually, it will bring the Year of the Dragon), so make the most of this one.