01 January 2014

The Best-Laid Plans

I had planned to spend New Year's Eve eating copious junk food and partying with friends. But my body begged to differ with that plan. No, it demanded to differ, the finicky so-and-so. An upset stomach and a headache does not for cheerful parties make. So I spent the evening on the couch, watching Harry Potter in company of the offspring and the cats, nibbling on chips and periodically having my toes nibbled on by Johnnie Tripod (for some reason, feet wiggling under a blanket seem to be irresistible to cats). And then I went to bed earlier than I would have otherwise, and feel better for it this morning. It was, all things considered, an enjoyable evening, even though my plans did not work out.

Plans. I don't usually go in for New Year's resolutions, planning on all the positive changes I'm going to make in my life, because I'm fully aware that I'm only setting myself up for failure if I do. The best-laid plans of mice and men, and all that sort of thing. This year I'm especially aware of that issue. I keep thinking of what it was like, a hundred years ago on New Year's 1914. What resolutions did people make then, what plans did they form, what expectations did they have for that year? And then, not seven months later, in Sarajevo a shot was fired on an Austrian archduke, and all hell broke loose. For the next four years the world was plunged into a bloody war that completely changed the face of life as it had been known so far.

What are we gearing up for this year? There is absolutely no knowing. And making resolutions about what we're going to do or not do is not going to make one smidgen of a difference. Perhaps the only thing worth resolving is to keep living our lives to the best of our abilities, love our loved ones, enjoy what we have while we have it, and make what changes are needed at the moment they are necessary (rather than on an arbitrary Wednesday in the middle of winter just because the calendar says 01.01. on that day). Carpe diem - die on the carpet? Ah, no, don't keep carping on dying, I think that's what it comes down to. Grab hold of the day, and live it.

And once again, I'm preaching to myself.

New Year's Greetings from the Tigers and Bears
Incidentally, Steve informs me that stuffed bears don't have an issue with any of this. They don't make plans. Bears, like cats, are content to simply Be. So Steve intends to keep doing what he always does, which is sitting on my bedside table, discussing poetry with Horatio - and if he has any other resolutions for this coming year, he isn't telling me. And that's just as well.

Life, the Universe, and Best-Laid Plans. May your New Year be a string of Todays.

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