It’s been awhile. If you hadn’t noticed, my blogging has been lagging of late. Even in the busyness of the holiday season, I had promised myself that I’d post at least once a week, and I was doing it. The first three Sundays of Advent, I wrote something to go along with the theme of that week. But the weekend of the fourth Sunday of Advent, I had to do a funeral, and I was traveling to Kentucky to visit my family for Christmas, and to make a long story short, it just didn’t happen. But even before that, I was having some trouble. A well-meaning friend had told me after my first few blog posts, “Wow, you are knocking it out of the park every time!” And instead of being pleased, my first thought was, Well, shit. Now I can’t write anything mediocre.
But of course, I have to; it’s the only way I will (eventually) write good stuff. Anne Lamott is right about so many things, and one of them is the importance of writing shitty first drafts. So here I go, filling the blogosphere with attempts at greatness once again, knowing that many of my efforts will merely approach mediocrity. It feels like an appropriate time for such a realization. It is, after all, the season for clean slates.
2014 is out there right now, spotless and utterly perfect. Isn’t it lovely? It brings to mind one of my favorite lines from Anne of Green Gables, that, “Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it.” Unfortunately, that completely goes out the window when tomorrow becomes today. How long will 2014-with-no-mistakes-in-it last for me? A few hours if I’m really careful? Not long, to be sure. I kind of like 2014 the way it is right now, in the unsullied future, sparkling with possibility, positively pregnant with potentiality. We all get a new start. Many of us make resolutions, and it seems completely believable that we can transform ourselves, that this year we can finally get it right. That’s what I love about this time of year.
But very soon, 2014 will no longer be the future. Once it becomes the present, it gets a lot less shiny day by day. And I think that’s okay. Much as I love a spotless future with no mistakes in it, I much prefer a present in which I can actually live, tracking muddy footprints all over the place. This time, I want to resolve boldly to fill this new year with mistakes, to learn from some of them, hopefully laugh at many of them, and do my best not to regret any of them. After all, the mistakes as much as anything in this new year will make me the person I am to become the next year, and in all the years to come. Clean slates are dull to look at for long; they’re only meant to be an invitation. Let’s fill this one with something interesting.