Today is my 50th birthday, which doesn’t mean much, unless you’re me. I woke up with a plan for an epic hike with friends, but then tested positive for Covid on my way out the door. Happy Birthday!! 2021 still sucks, and this coronavirus waits for no (wo)man.
As my symptoms are minimal and my attitude is that anything that doesn’t kill me just makes me more imperviously irritable (and sets me up for the next thing along to do the deed), I’m soldiering on with my day. I hiked anyway (socially distant) and knocked back 9 miles before discretion overcame valor. I came home, showered, pounded some coffee and pulled out the laptop to do my little Friday cartwheels for you lot.
The tiredest idea for a TCIF on New Year’s is the solicitation of resolutions. I feel certain that, in the years I have been doing this gig in one form or another, I have fallen back on the resolution trope many times. But not today. Today, I’m endeavoring to turn my frown upside down.
So instead of looking forward to what might be (especially given the pandemic’s proven track record of dashing hopes and curtailing dreams), I’m looking back on a year of living in constant fear of which other shoes might eventually drop and picking out the good things, a sort of retrospective gratitude to adjust my attitude.
I ran two ultra-marathons this year. And yeah, I know this isn’t that site, but they were high points for me, because I finished them both and received the attendant participation medals. Everyone loves a tryer. I also banked some great bike rides, fewer events than normal, but some solid times with friends, rolling along in beautiful places. My approach to riding changed ever so slightly, with less emphasis on suffering and more accent on simple fun.
I just turned 50, but I’m trying to be 12 years-old forever, and I achieved that goal quite a bit in 2021. In fact, I’d say the pandemic and its reminder of our collective and individual mortalities, actually enhanced my belief in the pursuit of childish fun. Death is life’s true gift, the certainty that time’s not for wasting.
And so, as we wait for our balls to drop (or whatever the old tradition was), the last TCIF of 2021 asks, what went right for you this year? To invoke another old saying, whence and how were you able to knit a silk purse out of 2021’s sow’s ear? That’s a metaphorical saying. I hope you didn’t stick a needle in a pig. That’s mean.