Archive for December, 2012

52 ideas for 2013

December 31, 2012

Some will take 5 minutes, some a few months. . . . just a list of random things I thought I’d try to do in 2013.

1) Polar Bear Plunge
2) Read 50 Shades of Gray
3) Read Team of Rivals
4) Read In the Garden of Beasts
5) Read Fall of Giants
6) Read The Great Influenza
7) Read Book #6 (Title: TBD)
8) Read Book #7 (Title: TBD)
9) Read Book #8 (Title: TBD)
10) Read Book #9 (Title: TBD)
11) Read Book #10 (Title: TBD)
12) Read Book #11 (Title TBD)
13) Read Book #12 (Title TBD)
14) Participate in the SNAP challenge (one week, $25 all 7 days)
15) Run a 5K
16) Write a letter instead of shooting a long email
17) Walk the Freedom Trail
18) Go to a Red Sox/Yankees game
19) Participate in the USPS 3K challenge
20) Unplug from social media for a week.
21) Walk, run, jog 500 miles (I mean, I’ve got a YEAR)
22) Go to Walden Pond. (Such a bad local tourist)
23) Get over my fear of needles and go to the dentist
24) Take a yoga class
25) Volunteer 50 hours
26) Go to Northern California
27) Go to New Orleans
28) Go to Puerto Rico
29) Learn to cook tamales
30) Make an intentional collage
31) Go vegetarian for a week
32) Menu plan for a week . . . and follow it!
33) Bike 1000 miles (see the I’ve got a year note)
34) Walk away from an argument
35) Work a 44 hour week
36) Make sure all that dang adult paperwork is taken care of
37) Pay off the remaining credit card debt
38) Go to the MFA once a month
39) Go to NYC just to go to MOOD!
40) Walk the Freedom Trail
41) Prehab my shoulder in an attempt to avoid surgery
42) Organize guest room
43) Organize kitchen
44) Find new homes for orphaned socks.
45) Start to learn Spanish.
46) Finish my holiday shopping by October.
47) Hollins Hanukah II
48) Journal more
49) Sending my 2012 Christmas cards by oh, St. Patrick’s Day.
50) Go fall camping
51) Take a fun class at one of the zillion extension centers
52) Try to be more zen.

The Early Winter Darkness

December 23, 2012

Like most of us, I’ve been stumbling around the past 9 or so days trying to figure out what went so horrifically wrong in Newtown on the 14th.  Of course there are not real answers, only ideas and some incredibly stupid suggestions (see the NRA). We talk about “a culture of violence” and other such random excuses (let’s face it, most of the world sees the same movies, plays the same video games and yet there isn’t a daily news story on a mass shooting).

Layered on top of the tragic chaos of Newtown, was the absolute insanity of the Mayan prophecy.  I received a text yesterday from my middle nephew “bummed the world didn’t end.” I laughed.  That guilty laugh that I remember from right after 9/11.   And a fleeting idea: maybe the Mayans were right.  My idealistic side hopes that maybe, just maybe we’ve reached the end of the finger pointing, blame games. The senseless acts of violence.  The culture of “it’s not my fault”. The community of self.

I thought about those in and around Newtown who are trying to find words when there are no words.  There are no answers.  I sat and thought for a moment, we created this.  We created this chaos. 

I’m not going to debate the merits of who should have a gun and who shouldn’t.  I don’t know why one person who was haunted by what must have been horrific demons killed 27 people before killing himself.  But as I sit in the darkness of the early winter, as we start to celebrate the coming of the light, I can’t help but think maybe it’s time to hope the Mayan’s were right.  That the world did end and we seized the moment to create a new one.

Maybe it’s because I’m getting older.  Or maybe because I’ve spoken to my 6-7 year old nephew and nieces, but I found myself thinking, the true tragedy of Newtown would be to let it become like Columbine, Northern Illinois University, Virginia Tech, Puducah, Aurora, Portland and simply a news cycle.  The lives have been lost.  The dreams have been shattered.

It’s time for us to build a new world: one where six year olds doesn’t calmly explain to his aunt the emergency plan for each location of his school for fire, tornado and lock down.  It’s our time to lead.  We finally have to say enough is enough.

I don’t have the answers.  I’m not even sure I know all the questions.  I know I’m exhausted of news that simply brings more heartache.