|This time of year one sees a lot of retrospectives about the people and events of the last year. I like those. They are almost entirely news to me. I will have either forgotten they happened this year, or more likely, forgotten they happened at all.
My wife has largely stopped being impatient with me over it. This year, I will shout, ”Ray Dolby died!?” (yes) “When?” (last year). “Fredrick Sanger died!?” and so on. There is something to be said for remembering the year as it happens because getting it all at once is a shock.
Sometimes I try to put together a retrospective of my own life. My wife hates that because she is the one who has to actually do it. This year, she won’t get ten seconds into it before I am shouting, “I got pneumonia AGAIN!?”, and “Kenney died?” My wife only makes it to about June and then I am on my own.
The things I remember may or may not have happened. I am quite sure that some of the most memorable moments were psychotic events. I remember I saw a skunk the size of a Labrador retriever. That was memorable. Thank God it was a hallucination. I remember going to my doctor’s office and having all four doctors called in to have a look. They asked me how I had gotten there and I replied that I had driven, at which they shot each other a look. ‘Wrong answer’, I thought, ‘Note in Don’t Do This.’ Aside from a few things like that, everything I remember might have happened last year, five years ago, or even not at all. My wife has very little patience with verifying the reality of things that happened only in my own head.
Left to my own devices, I will construct a pretty rosy history. It will include things such as, “I almost died twice, but didn’t, so things could be worse.” I remember hiking on sunny days, getting lost on a blistering hot day (don’t do this), camping, and a lot of good times with the family (except perhaps the funeral). Every bit of it could have happened five years ago.
My wife and I always have the same New Year’s resolution. We vow to not be hung over on New Year’s Day. This following a near-death experience hangover some thirty years ago. We have kept to it faithfully. Not going out on New Year’s eve has helped.
Making resolutions is futile. Last year, I resolved to have no surgeries or ER visits. By the end of January, I had both. I ended the year with one surgery, three ER visits, and an ambulance ride, possibly a new record.
For this year’s retrospective, I am going to ask my wife to skip over those parts and try to cover the parts that were sunshine and fun watching the kids look for Easter eggs. Maybe I can talk her into making up a few because I won’t know anyway. Since it is a tradition, futile or not, here are my resolutions for 2014:
-I resolve to be less crazy, more healthy, and to not scare the living hell out of my friends and family.
-I resolve to not argue with invisible people. There is no worse waste of time.
-I resolve to hike where only sane people hike, boring as that is.
-And finally, I resolve to stay positive even when doctors shake their heads (I hate that). I will be a source of joy and light, albeit possibly not in this galaxy. At the end of the year, I will ask my wife to either exclude or include these items in the retrospective. Depending on how annoyed she is, it will have been a good year or a not so good year. I hope we will have had an Easter egg hunt.