Wednesday, 1 January 2014

*blink* and another year’s gone…

This year - oops, last year – has disappeared into that irretrievable void that we call The Past. Gone. Kaput. It no longer exists. The only thing that keeps it alive, for good or ill, is memory – aided by the media and all those ‘the year that was’ photos and videos. There are many things I'd like to forget - like the fact I only rode the motorbike half a dozen times, or that I suffered an inordinate amount of joint pain. That I became fat from a deadly combination of prednisolone, red wine and late-night snacks. That I cleaned so many dunnies my arms nearly dropped off. That Kate's beautiful cat, Aldwyn, was laid to rest in my front garden.

There are also many things I would like to remember about 2013, though. Singing with the Mallacoota Community Choir; joining Mallacoota's rockin'est ukulele girl-band, the Strumaleles; learning watercolour painting in the U3A art class; making some wonderful new friends in my adopted hometown, reconnecting with nature and rediscovering the joy of gardening. Memory is a double-edged sword, isn't it?
This year is what it is and all that it is going to be because of all those bits and pieces - good and bad - of last year and the year before and the year before that, all the way back to forever. Nothing happens in a vacuum. Everything is interconnected. The kneebone's connected to the -- you know how it goes.

On the bad side, I guess that’s why Campbell Newman and his VLAD-loving cronies are still jack-booting about and terrorising Queensland, and why Mallacoota's beautiful Bastion Point is still ‘under reconstruction’ (Grrr). It’s why Tony Abbott and his secretive government are hiding boats and denying climate change and selling our precious environment to the mega-rich, while simultaneously trampling all over the most vulnerable people in our society. 

Seeing as memory doesn’t actually seem to be teaching us anything as a society (like how NOT to let governments get too much power), is it actually worth having? Is it a blessing or a burden?
I sometimes ponder life without the double-edged sword of Memory. How is it for Basil, I wonder, whose life is lived from day to day, and who doesn’t seem to worry about anything at all, ever? He seems pretty happy, actually. Here he is, sitting on a nice warm rock in the cat palace and looking very handsome:
Photo by Kate Berry
Poop. I hadn’t intended being philosophical. I had resolved not to think too much this year, in fact, because thinking too much can be such a downer. Clearly this resolution went the way of just about every other resolution, ever. I’m doomed to think and think. But I may have found a partial solution.
I read a sappy thing on Facebook the other day – one of those True Stories designed to tug at the heartstrings – and one line really stood out for me, and created the foundation for a resolution I hope I will be able to keep in 2014.
‘Don’t put the key to your happiness in anybody else’s pocket.’
Wow. That really blew me away, as I realised, in my over-thinking way, that I do exactly that. I do it a lot. And it never occurs to me that this is a choice I make – a ridiculous, self-defeating choice that hands over the power over my precious happiness to other people, some of whom I don’t even like very much! How very empowering for them
2014, then, is going to be the year that I keep the key to my happiness safely in my own pocket. I love my own little world, with its ukulele, its Basil, its birds, its watercolours and its lovely work-in-progress garden. I love the friends and family in it. I love doing my own thing in my little house in this beautiful, tiny little town. Obnoxious people, bosses and governments may have the power to irritate, much like this summer's persistent flies, but I will not give them the power to make me feel less worthy or less happy than I deserve to be.
Onwards and upwards, and Happy New Year!


Peter Cremasco said...

If THAT is a photo of the predisone,red wine and snack induced fat you, then I can only conclude you were rather anoerixic pre-pred, wine and snacks. :)

Sue said...

lol Peter - no, have managed to shed over a stone since the prednisolone days, thank goodness!

Chiller tek said...

Hope you have a happy new year Sue, with much more riding on the cards.

Trobairitz said...

Happy New Year to you. May you only have the very best in 2014.

Lovely picture of Basil too, very statuesque. And you look very happy too.

The sappy saying reminds me of one I saw that said something to the effect of not putting your happiness in someone else's hands as it can then be taken away. Same meaning. Make your own happiness.

Sue said...

Chiller, this will be the year that I decide the Harley's future - ride or rid.... I haven't ever really 'bonded' with it, and it seems silly to keep it in the shed when I never ride it. Contemplating a return to a sportier ride, but will have to consider VERY carefully now that I'm a minimum-wage earner.
Trobairitz, I don't know why, but Basil has taken a great liking to that particular rock - it must be just the right size/shape for his bottom. He favours an empty bowl near the frog pond for some sheltered curling-up, and an empty plant pot for bird-watching. That flat rock, however, appears to be his 'look how gorgeous I am' sitting place

Gerry said...

All the best for 2014, Sue.