Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Superstitious New Year

Greetings Friends,

I'm sure I'm not the only one who is slightly (who am I kidding - it's way more than slightly) superstitious about the dawning of this particular new year. The number thirteen is a symbol of bad luck to some; myself included. I try to avoid it when I can, and when I can't, I shudder with fear of what havoc this offensive number might wreak on my life. These thoughts, on what should be a propitious day of new beginnings and resolutions, have instead lead me to take stock of what it is I am afraid of, and what I might be able to do to quell those fears, as I have no choice but to live with the number "2013" for the next 364-and-a-half days. Here goes:

Fear of Running Out of Gas: The vehicle in my possession at the moment has something of a "sticky" gas gauge. I've noticed that when the needle gets close to the "E" side of the display, it engages in a bit of wiggling, causing the gas tank image to light up, when in fact there is at least one-quarter of a tank of gas left. It was quite worrisome at first, but when I realized the multitude of gas stations in my midst, I will never be too far from one even if I do actually drain the entire tank. The price differential, I'm afraid, is another fear factor; The price per gallon varies about 30 cents depending on where you go to fill up. Ponderous.

Fear of Aging: In five months time I will celebrate birthday number 46. Where the hell have all those years gone? I don't feel 46, nor do I think I look 46, although I will never look as good as some famous women my age or older. Admittedly, if I had the financial means to have a personal trainer, chef, and top-flight plastic surgeon at my disposal, things might be different. But, reality says I have to make do with what I have. That means not thinking about the number of my next birthday, but how I feel instead. I have a lot of work to do on that front, and it's time I got cracking.

Fear of Being too Zen: The digital lifestyle I find myself living has made me think about all the material possessions I used to have that are now superfluous. I don't have any records, CDs or DVDs in my home at the moment (all those items are in storage), because I've finally realized that all I ever want to watch or listen to is housed in an electronic device. All my music is on my laptop hard drive or in my phone, and any movie or television show I want to watch can be accessed online. I literally sleep with my laptop instead of falling asleep to the sound of the television. I am afraid that one day, the extent of all our possessions will be reduced to a few pieces of necessary furniture and a handful of electronic devices. The presence of a console television and a rack stereo system would be such a comfort to me.

Fear of Not Being Heard: In April, I will be writing this blog three years. I appreciate each and every one of my readers, even though I sometimes feel this is just another byte of unnoticed bandwidth in the great electronic void. Someone very special in my life keeps reminding me how important it is to write for myself. I promise to try to keep that in mind and focus more on writing what I want to, instead of just writing what I have to.

Fear of the Future: With all the recent events of destruction and violence, both natural and man-made, I fear that the future will be darker, rather than brighter. I don't want to feel this way, but sometimes it's unavoidable. I want to be positive and hopeful, but when I witness things like destructive weather events and unspeakable acts of murder, I worry. Will tomorrow really be better, or are we kidding ourselves? I sincerely hope not.

Fear of too Much Visibility: There are countless cautionary tales about people who have gotten burned online. I've come to the conclusion that the Internet is both a blessing and a curse, and it is up to each one of us to choose how much or how little we share on it. There are literally no secrets anymore, hard as we try to keep them. My only hope is that the mistakes I made in my past will stay there, and the things I hope to achieve will be celebrated. I must also toughen up and realize that all of this is completely beyond my control.

Happy New Year, friends; and try very hard to be healthy, prosperous and happy, despite the lousy number.


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