Sometimes during the holidays I feel like the Ghost of Christmas Present. You know the one - when Scrooge first meets him, the Ghost of Christmas Present is buoyant, energetic, like a sixteen year old kid totally high on life, and by the time they depart, the Ghost of the Present has aged into an old man and is ready to pass the torch onto the much more terrifying Ghost of Christmas Future, who freaked me out when I watched Scrooged as a kid. (I have a low threshold for absolutely terrifying things.)
I feel like I spend the entire month of December as the Ghost of Christmas Present, starting off the month giddy, young, charged with fire and ready to tackle on the world, loudly. But by the time December 31st comes along, I am a wizened, tired, slightly cranky senior citizen who kind of just wishes those damn kids would get off my lawn already.
So here we are, in my olden days. I am feeling aged, slightly cynical, more relaxed and less neurotic after having celebrated another beautiful Christmas with my family, a bit saddened to once again have spent it apart from That Boy I Adore, (who heads home to the East Coast for Christmas) and just kind of wishing 2011 would pop its head in already so that I could be done with it and go take a nap.
But as I am in my Wise(r) and Old(er) state right now, I thought I would use this post to impart some of the wisdom I have learned through the year, and invite all of you to do the same. So I ask each and every one of you: what's something you learned this year, about yourself, life, the universe, the mechanics of gravity versus coffee... whatever it is, I'd love to hear it. And, for what it's worth, here are my tidbits:
Get your tires rotated every time you get your oil changed. Two birds, one stone.
Everything is comedy. If the memory still hurts and it's not funny yet, give it more time.
Don't hang out with anyone who revels in your failures and don't hang out with anyone who doesn't get high off your successes.
There are two types of critics. The first are critical because they think you can do better, and they're willing to point out how and help you reach your full potential. The second are critical because they're threatened by how well you're doing without them. Keep the first. Ditch the second.
The amount you are offended at something is directly proportional to how much you need to work on coming to peace with it in your own life.
People who can't respectfully disagree about politics or religion are just children in adult's clothing. You grow up the day that you are able to look people in the eye, people who completely disagree with you on every political or religious matter to which you hold dear, shake their hands, and wish them well. Children demonize those who look at things differently. Adults learn that there is always more than one perspective and learn from it.
The only difference between a leader and a follower is that leaders are able to get people to work together, and followers are too busy trying to be leaders to bother.
Criticism is the first form of violence. Humiliation is the second.
Have at least one friend who would be willing to pick you up from the airport at 2 am. Or willing to help you stay awake until 2 am if you're the one picking someone up.
Nobody likes a martyr. They say they do, but they're lying.
and finally, one of my new favorite quotes:
"The truth is that things don't really get solved, they come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It's just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy."
(photo credit: I got it here)