19 November 2012

Birthday Reflections

I am not prone to wallowing in superstition, especially Chinese superstition, which seems to be the most abundant variety.  Nonetheless, I am experiencing a disproportionate feeling of relief to bid farewell to the age of 44, the Chinese pronunciation of 'four' closely resembling the sound of the word for death.

It has been a rough year, and while there is no particular reason to be more optimistic about the year ahead, I cannot help but feel a hurdle has been crossed.  Is it odd that I still feel that middle age is some vague destination that lies ahead of me, despite a deep knowing that I am indeed beyond the mid-point of my life?

Birthdays are a natural time for reflection, a time to pause, take stock of the past and see what resources are available for the journey ahead.  To check the map, the compass, and the weather maps.  Why bother?  Impossible to chart a course when you don't have a destination.   So hard to choose a direction to travel when you have learned, through trial and error, that it doesn't really matter where you are, neither physically nor figuratively.  There is but a singular conclusion to Life.

But instinct and philosophy point to the inescapable notion that *something* matters, and it seems to have far more to do with 'how' than with 'what'.  Not what you do or what you accomplish, but how you do it.  The most important texts in this world all deal with the how of living.  Generations have been sacrificed for arguments over the religious and secular details of the 'how'.

When I reflect on the 'how' of my life, I get a mixed commentary from my internal Luddite, and all my single-sided dialogues come down to one-word conclusion : whimsy.

Why did I let whimsy slip so quietly out of my life?  I miss giggling and silliness, and decisions made from sheer frivolity.  The last few years have been heavy with departure and seriousness.  The weight of circumstance and the consequences of actions have squeezed out the best defence I had at my disposal.  And it feels like personal failure.  I have lost my weird.  I want it back.

Thus, I do here by declare my intentions to cultivate whimsy,   In my life, in my mind, and in my wardrobe.  I am going to go through my closets, my shelves, and my psyche and throw out everything that does not cause me to experience complete and utter delight.  Ugly pants that don't quite fit but are practical and safe?  You're outta here.  Sticky non-stick frying pan?  You're outta here.  Guilt, shame, regret?  Into the bin with you.  Hipster Zombies?  I have had quite enough of your shenanigans, get lost.  Cranky husband?  Well, you're on the watch pile.

Yellow panties?  You're in!  Possum skull? A place of pride awaits you hanging from my rear view mirror!  Joy, lightness, goofballs?  Get into my belly.  Cat in the Hat?  Come on over...

...and clean my house before you leave.  A whimsical home doesn't have to be messy.