So there’s this author named Neil Gaiman. I don’t know how I found him; it may have been by way of Wil Wheaton, or possibly John Scalzi. Don’t remember anymore. 🙂 What I do remember is being intrigued enough by Mr. G’s blog to start looking up his published works (Neverwhere — there’s a London Below the London we know… — and American Gods — What if all the gods humans have ever worshiped are real? And what happens when the humans bring their gods with them to America? — are two of my favorite books ever).
An editorial digression: I could have sworn “worshiped” used to be spelled with two Ps…oh, well…
Anyway, one of the things Mr. G does on his blog is write a New Year’s wish for his readers. Sometimes it’s new, sometimes he quotes a previously wished wish (so to speak), but either way, there is often a New Year’s wish to be found at the ending of the year. As of last New Year’s Eve he was up to five, and this year he quoted last year’s wish on FB.
And I thought, this year, instead of simply grabbing one of his quotes to pass along to you, I’ll review my year in the light of each of his wishes. Just for giggles. 🙂
To begin, December 31, 2014:
Be kind to yourself in the year ahead.
Remember to forgive yourself, and to forgive others. It’s too easy to be outraged these days, so much harder to change things, to reach out, to understand.
Try to make your time matter: minutes and hours and days and weeks can blow away like dead leaves, with nothing to show but time you spent not quite ever doing things, or time you spent waiting to begin.
Meet new people and talk to them. Make new things and show them to people who might enjoy them.
Hug too much. Smile too much. And, when you can, love.
Being kind to myself. Forgiving myself. Well, both of those tend to be a challenge. It’s always easier to see the ways I screwed up rather than the ways I did something well. I should do this, I need to do that, I’m smart enough to know better than this, why can’t I get a handle on whatever-the-fuck thing, et weary cetera. I’m much more able to forgive other people, give them the benefit of the doubt even when it’s a really really really big doubt.
Making my time matter. Oy. Vey, even. Plenty of time spent on things like FB catching up/staying in touch with people, which I will not call a waste because hey, friends! I don’t get to see them as often as I’d like, so for me FB actually serves a purpose. But the Web is also a time sink extraordinaire, and there are things I could be doing instead of falling down the endless rabbit holes it offers. ‘Tis a thing to work on.
Meet new people. Not as many as last year, but not bad. Make new things…relates to making my time matter, I think. Although the blogging, while not a new thing, is definitely a re-newed thing this year: A Success! ***cheers, throws confetti***
Hugged as many and as much as possible. Smiling? No such thing as too much. 😀 And I have no shortage of people I love. And they love me too, which is awesome.
Onward now, to December 31, 2012:
It’s a New Year and with it comes a fresh opportunity to shape our world.
So this is my wish, a wish for me as much as it is a wish for you: in the world to come, let us be brave – let us walk into the dark without fear, and step into the unknown with smiles on our faces, even if we’re faking them.
And whatever happens to us, whatever we make, whatever we learn, let us take joy in it. We can find joy in the world if it’s joy we’re looking for, we can take joy in the act of creation.
So that is my wish for you, and for me. Bravery and joy.
Bravery can be such a big thing, or such a small-seeming one with bigger consequences than we know. I believe I was braver this year than last, mostly in small ways that added up to bigger things, at least on the inside. And there was a Brave Thing done at Burning Man… 😉 And yes, joy has been taken, in many things, and in many people.
From December 31, 2011:
And for this year, my wish for each of us is small and very simple.
And it’s this.
I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.
Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.
So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.
Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.
Make your mistakes, next year and forever.
Mistakes. Doing what scares you in spite of the fear and the potential for it to be a huge mistake. Well. Yes. At least one thing, this year, fell into that category. It turned out not to have been a mistake, even though it was completely not a Planned Thing and could have gone…badly. But there could be more glorious amazing mistakes. This one, I’ll have to give a bit of thought to.
December 31, 2008’s wish:
…I hope you will have a wonderful year, that you’ll dream dangerously and outrageously, that you’ll make something that didn’t exist before you made it, that you will be loved and that you will be liked, and that you will have people to love and to like in return. And, most importantly (because I think there should be more kindness and more wisdom in the world right now), that you will, when you need to be, be wise, and that you will always be kind.
Dreaming dangerously sounds…wonderful. There are times I think I’ve forgotten how to dream about much of anything. Wistful daydreams, perhaps, are about as far as I get. That’s how it feels, anyway. And yet there are things bubbling away at the back of my mind that, if I stop and give them some space, might be quite as dangerous and outrageous as anything I could possibly hope for.
It’s also a very nice tie-in with the wish above about making glorious amazing new mistakes that no one has ever made before. Because some of the stuff in the back of my mind truly has the potential for Royally Fucking Things Up, Life-Wise. But I will look to find the balance between those dangerous dreams and the wisdom to bring them to life in a way that won’t cost me more, in any meaning, than I can afford to lose.
There’s a truly beautiful episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation called “The Offspring”, in which someone calls Data wise; he replies, “It is the difference between knowledge and experience.” This rings true to me in SO many ways. Some of my experiences in the last five years or so, in fact, outstripped my knowledge by a considerable amount. Which, you know, when your knowledge of a situation is zero, it’s tough to prepare for it. I hope I’ve found some wisdom through it all. I really don’t want to have to go through it all again to find out, though.
I do my best to be kind. Please, if you find me not being kind, tell me so I can evaluate the situation and change my approach if it’s necessary. Of course, there is a huge difference between being kind and being a doormat, of course — attaining the wisdom to know the difference, that’s the trick. 😉
What I do have, is people who like me, and people who love me, people I like and people I love. I’ve been richer in that respect than I realized a lot of the time.
And now, December 31, 2001…and 2004…and 2007:
May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.
I like all of Neil’s wishes — if I didn’t, you wouldn’t be reading this because I’d have written something else — but I think this one is my favorite. And I had a lot of these things in 2015, especially the magic and good madness and fine books read. I kissed several someones *cough*Burning Man*cough* and it’s possible some of them thought I was wonderful, although I would honestly be happy to be a moment of pleasure unlooked for. And if you thought I would EVER see myself writing that sentence, think again. 😀
Hell, maybe it was my very own art project! And yes, I do still plan to write about it, but my original idea (one long post for everything) appears to have been scrapped in favor of smaller chunks (like the bit about the BRO).
On the other hand, I have definitely surprised myself in many good ways.
Now that I’ve compared my year to someone else’s wishes, here are my my wishes for you, my friends whether in meatspace or solely on the Intertubes…
May this year exceed your fondest dreams. May you have work that satisfies your soul as well as filling your pockets. May your art find an audience. May your challenges give your strength, and may you always find help if they’re too much to bear on your own. (And if you need me, you know how to find me.) May you find healing of body, or mind, or both, as you need it. May you realize abundance in all good things.
May 2016 be wonder-full, for all of us.