We're like Sir Paul: we know what happened this year. We were there. What I wish those lists would relate are the things we've learned from the things that have happened. Seriously, I mean what are the take-aways from the Kardashians' latest breakup, or from reminsicing about the year's bitter bipartisianship, or even from Whitney Houston's untimely death? That we love celebrity soap operas? That we're sick of campaign ads? That drugs are bad? This is all old news. In fact, it shouldn't even be called news, it oughta be called Olds.
Granted, there is something fascinating about looking over the year and remembering, but what if we as individuals came up with our own lists? What would your list look like? More importantly, what would be your takeaways or lessons learned?
Here are some of mine.
Mourning and Celebrating Aren't Mutually Exclusive Events. One week before my birthday, my mom's last surviving best friend passed. Long ago, she decided that our family along with some surviving members of her family would see to the arrangements. So in the days leading up to my birthday, I dug through and scanned old photos for the slide show that would be played at the visitation. Tallked back and forth with the printers who would be designing the funeral program.. Ordered flowers. At the same time, my husband was like a giddy schoolgirl with a secret he couldn't keep: he had, quite uncharacteristically, planned something big for my big day. So one minute, I'd be choked up, the next looking forward to whatever his big surprise was. One minute, serving, remembering, mourning. The next minute, indulging, celebrating. Oddly enough, the emotions balanced each other out and I ended up appreciating the gift of another year in a way I hadn't before.
Less than a month after "Graduation" from the academy, the Azana Spa tragedy happened: I realized that I knew the agents and those babies from the SWAT team heading over to the carnage. I had met them, talked and laughed with them. Maybe Colonel Jessup was right after all.
Branson's Closer Than I'd Like to Think. 2012 was the year of concerts. Huey Lewis, Colin Haye and The Dukes of September (Michael McDonald, Boz Skaggs & Donald Fagan).
I began to notice that all of the concert dates were on weeknights, unlike back in the day when these guys played the Mainstage on the weekends. Now the weekend concert headliners have names like Britney or Justin or Carly. Most of them were learning to walk while I was dancing on a table in some smoky bar in Walker's Point. Meh...just goes to show you that time marches on.
Guess I better start saving up for flights to Branson, because sooner or later, that'll be Huey's or Colin's or the Dukes of September's next stop...and you can bet I'll be there. Weeknight or not.
Of course, there are more memories, more takeaways, some benign and some consequential. The point is not to just remember, it's to learn something and to move forward smarter and better....and to look for the lessons in the new memories that we'll make in 2013.
I'm ready to start looking. How about you?