Well, well. Mid-January, anyone? At this rate 2017 will be done in 3 months. And of course it kicked 2016 to the curb with what I feel was unseemly haste. In fact, nearly everything seems to come upon me with unseemly haste these days. (Especially colonoscopies and property taxes.) Time slows down only when I’m lying awake, bored spitless, in the middle of the night. Can’t turn on a light to read, can’t get up to make coffee, can’t go outside to look at the stars and listen to the owls hoot. Any sound, light, or movement wakes Glen up in our tiny house. And heaven knows he’s done more than his share of lying awake in bed, bored spitless for me. (How do light sleepers in true “tiny houses”—let’s say 400 sq. ft. or fewer—manage this? With earplugs and sleep masks?
Since lying awake in bed is not a feasible way to slow time for the entire year, I’m going to focus on 2017’s bright prospects rather than its speedy and inevitable demise. In fact, I’m more excited about this year than any other in recent memory.
For one thing, my debut novel, The Space Between, will be published. Not sure when yet, but it won’t be too much longer. I dropped the ball on it in early January due to focusing too much on the other thing I’m really excited about: Glen’s and my forever home. Which is almost done. That’s especially excellent in light of what just happened today. This wreckage used to be a garment rack that stored some of Glen’s clothes out in the laundry room/storage shed:
So maybe as much as for the house itself, I’m excited to have a real closet again. Not a farmhouse closet like this:
And not temporary garment racks like the ones here, still courageously hanging on to their structural integrity:
Did you know that the reason garment racks like these are temporary is because they disintegrate over time? Literally disintegrate? Yep. The fabric enclosing them deteriorates and turns to powder. The process begins in much less than a year. And then the dirt dobbers and the mice and the lizards move in.
In the shambles of this particular garment rack, Glen lost three shirts and a pair of Wranglers to mice. So far.
In the mouse nest I found brown cloth that came from an article of clothing I haven’t identified yet. There may be surprises in the other racks. And I can’t wait to see what awaits us in the rest of our earthly possessions currently stored in the garage. But hey. If this is the worst thing that happens this year, I’ll consider myself quite fortunate.
Could this the Universe’s way of telling us we have too much stuff? Probably. Are we listening? Yes. The message hasn’t sunk in all the way yet, but we’ve made progress in that direction just since moving out to the country. Simplifying hasn’t been an option. It’s been a necessity.
It seems fitting that I’m writing this on January 10th, which is the anniversary of the day that Julius Caesar and his army crossed over the Rubicon River in 49 B.C. (also known as B.C.E., or Before Common Era). That act embroiled the Roman Republic in a civil war. Even so, I can’t tell you why an incident more than 2,000 years ago became so thoroughly entrenched in history that the expression “crossing the Rubicon” became part of the Western world’s vernacular and its pop culture—and is still in common usage today—but it did. Essentially, Caesar went viral.
I’ve always liked the saying “crossing the Rubicon.” Not because I enjoy the study of history (because, to be truthful, I really don’t), but because of the feeling it creates in me. Crossing the Rubicon. It’s the point of no return. It’s no going back, it’s burnt bridges, it’s eyes looking to the future because the past is beyond reach. Scary, exhilarating concepts. Concepts that form the springboard for countless thousands of stories. Including some of mine.
We’ve all recently crossed that metaphorical Rubicon River together, wading into 2017. And now we’re here. Scary and exhilarating indeed. Not all of what the year holds will be good, of course. We will have our share of woe. Some more than others. Scary may outweigh exciting, although I pray not. But in my usual optimistic fashion (have I mentioned that my mother used to call me Pollyanna?), I’m going to do my best to keep my eyes on the good things. In the case of 2017, that means completing projects that are important to me.
So 2017, I’m glad you’re here. I think there’s real adventure in store. But whatever you did with 2016’s body, I don’t want to know. My eyes are on the future.
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