Thursday, December 31, 2009

Decades of Me


...a yoga teacher I know said something about the tendency, this time of year in particular, to set intentions...resolutions...that are essentially negative...centered around parts of ourselves we want to be rid of...suggesting that instead we might try focusing on good things that have grown in us over the past year or decade...ways we’ve become kinder, healthier...things like that...which I don’t find difficult...

...though I still have a bit of trouble with this whole big whoop about new year’s eve new year’s day start of a new decade thing...and not just because of that string of miserable New Year’s Eve party experiences that caused me to forsake them years ago...

...some writers have suggested that this almost-past-decade-nobody-could-come-up-with-a-decent-name-for began, actually, not with the flipping of calendar digits and immensely anticlimactic Y2K...(I mean, seriously, even if we can’t have the Apocalypse, is a worldwide digital breakdown really too much to ask for?)...but with 9/11....bringing an abrupt, if late, close to a decade of relative peace and prosperity that started early with the fall of the Berlin Wall...just like the 30’s began with the stock market crash, and the 60's ended with Watergate...or Altamont...or Disco....okay, clearly, this system isn't perfect, either...

...nonetheless, I found myself applying its logic a bit more personally...even if rushing to do so and get this post up before midnight...(yeah, I know)...

...starting in 1966...or so I’m told...there was a relatively innocent decade called childhood...

...followed, somewhere around 1978, by one that lasted only ’til '83 or so, even if it felt like an eternity in whatever circle of hell’s reserved for the lonely and despised...

...leading to what I’ve dubbed my psychedelic era...which could also be called the really really confused decade....which might be the same thing...

...and it lasted approximately ’til 1994 or so...eventually giving way to the (semi-)respectable decade...or the trying to put it all behind me decade...or the deep denial decade...

...which crash landed some time in 2001 in a period of depression so deep and dark that everything, it seemed, needed to be reevaluated...and, in order to do that, nothing could be denied...everything had to be seen and explored...opened up in a gradual process...commencing what might be called my second psychedelic era...without the artificial sweeteners...

...and I really don’t see that ending tonight...nor, truth be told, do I really think I’d want it to...

14 comments:

Nancy said...

After 50+ new years eves, it's pretty much all the same for me. That magical hour when the clock strikes midnight has become just the hands moving on the clock. The thrill is gone. However, the magic of the hour has turned inward and with each passing year, I've become my own best friend. The real magic is not the passing of time or the hour of midnight on January 1st, but the realization that life becomes sweeter even as the world grows crazier. I hope that makes sense! Happy January 1st!

Mark said...

Happy New Year, Jay!

berenice said...

Feliz Año Nuevo Dr. Jay
a warm smile + eHug from California
Namaste!

Lydia said...

Happy New Year, Jay.
Your most recent -- and permanent? -- phase seems like a good fit.

I'm with you on the lousy New Years Eve parties. I was never really present when attending them, anyway and I don't miss them.

This year Michael went to bed at 11:00 and I watched PBS Live from Lincoln Center that ended ten minutes before midnight with the full audience joining the stage in singing Auld Lang Sein. Bonbon, my standard poodle, loves to dance so I called her over in front of the TV and we danced to ALS. Then I watched the ball drop in NYC on another channel and then I went out on the front porch just in time for our neighbors across the street to be standing at their door yelling Happy New Year! so I yelled it back at them and then the neighbors behind us set off some loud fireworks in the rain. This is the end of my report How I did New Years Eve 2009 and welcomed in 2010.

the walking man said...

Death of "greed is good" decade sounds about right to me.

Seeing Eye Chick said...

I like to think of the time between the American New Years and the Chinese New Years--like a New Years Season. I never liked hinging everything on one night. Last night the first thing I did after kissing everyone in the family, was paint. This morning I hung a picture frame with the first painting I sold and my first dollar in it. As for the rest, well it was low key. I popped some fire crackers last night on the porch. Hoping to scare away the Evil Spirits of the Decade of Monster Truck Nuts. That is what the 2000's are to me right now. Big Plastic Bull Nuts swinging from the trailor hitch of an oversized Chevy Tahoe, being driven by a beligerent asshole. I am ready for that sort of Teabaggery to end. Today I clear off my grow shelves and I test my lights and I start my seeds for my garden. An affirmation of life and growth, and happiness and the edification of good work. The New Year is a time when Creation stops for a second, just long enough that we can, if we choose, to tweak it a bit in our own private sphere for the better. It is that time when we can become co-creationists {and not the bad book burning kind either}

Karin Bartimole said...

I like the idea your yoga teacher put out - flipping the intention thing over and rather than putting energy towards what we want to change, look at fostering more of what is *good*. I also feel the way you seem to about the new year thing - what's the big whoop?! Is there a difference in one day to the next? the ending of one year, the beginning of another? A fresh start can begin any day, changes can be made in each moment. I thought about that a lot last night, as I received the lousy news that I'd have to go on chemo, because things are worse than initially thought. To put a positive spin on it, I made myself think that getting all this news on new year's eve was a good way to encapsulate (at least symbolically) the worst of the worst bits into this bracketed time frame (all illusory, i realize), leaving it behind to move forward, more clearly, into a New Year. But the ripples know no time line, and news delivered today reverberates forward, regardless of a number change. It's in our moment to moment living that New can be lived.

Still, I wish you a happy new year, filled with all the natural sweetness your heart desires!

Lana Gramlich said...

I've found that toying with things like "intentions" and "resolutions" is akin to setting onesself up for failure. I've been much happier since I decided to abandon goal-oriented living for riding the wave. It's not the path for all, however (& waves have ups AND downs, of course.)
Regardless, have a Happy New Year, however that translates for you.

earthtoholly said...

Although I'd like to think that I've some good stuff that I could improve on, I'm afraid I've a lot more not-so-good stuff that needs fixin'.

I tend to stay in now days on the big Eve. It was raining and...well, it was raining, and that was enough to dampen my party spirits.

I look forward to the continuation of your "second psychedelic era," drjay. Happy New Year!

Erika C. said...

Yes, I get it and I like the focus on what is working for "resolutions." I know that for me, yoga is what keeps me sane and I try not to take it for granted. All those little triumphs (like finally being able to do handstand against the wall-maybe some day I will do it in the middle of the room!) and the bliss of being there in the body and on the mat (after the struggle to get there.)

My feeling is, like what some of the others who commented said, that each day is a present (also the name of my blog).

Thanks for your thoughts,

love,

Erika

Brooks Hall said...

I also relate with the story of your path. Be well, Dr. Jay. I wish you the best!

Laura Hegfield said...

It's uncanny how similar our decades seem to have been...your stroll back and forth in time matches mine developmentally speaking...we're about the same age I think so maybe that explains it. Not babyboomers not quite genX either...and here we are exploring life and mostly ok...plenty to be grateful for in the grand scheme...well at least I am.

happy new year...continuation of last year...and the 40+ years before that!

RB said...

My strategy this year is to write observations without judgment. I.e I am always late, I am enjoying yoga, I am still addicted to artificial sweeteners, I am brutally honest. Etc.
Both the feeling of positive change, and the desire to make some improvements, are implicit but not aggressive.

Kim said...

Arbitrary calendar dates don't really fit real life, do they?

In any event, Happy New Year.