Before I begin to muse about my feelings about this time of the year I have to make one thing perfectly clear. My feelings for the abomination which has come to be called the"holiday season" are beyond words for me. A nice idea totally ruined.
Now, I have never been a big fan of holidays in general.....of course when I was going to school or working I loved having a day off but mostly I would go around muttering, "Bah, Humbug" even on the 4th of July and Labor Day. It wasn't the idea of what the days commemorated..........I always felt that the ways they were celebrated demeaned them. And I REALLY dislike the year-end holiday season.......no....dislike is not good enough.....detest, abhor, loathe are better words to describe it. For one thing, I hate the ends of things......even when they are followed by a beginning of something. The ends create a definitive mark in the saga of your life and rub your nose in it. No more ignoring how much of the journey, the adventure, the struggle, the whole wonderful effing thing is behind you. No more just shuffling along happily procrastinating about everything and pretending that you'll take care of it tomorrow. At the "ends of things" you must face your shortcomings and acknowledge your failures. And then go on....... somehow........
And the "beginning of things" is even worse"..........a measured span of time during which you have the obligation to try to correct the flaws and committed disasters. I used to falsely promise to do better before the next "end of things", a ghastly charade I have abandoned in my old age. NO, NO- No more resolutions for me......they simply set a person up for more failures. I much prefer to see time as an unmarked span .......a road of ups and downs during which I try to do the best I can. I have been doing that for the past gazillion years or so and am still working on getting it right. The quality of my "best" varies a lot ............sometimes it is more like my worst, but I have been working on the lesson of trying to accept my "best" whatever the degree of quality.
At this moment my "best" has consisted of some very strange undertakings. I am convinced that I must apply instantly for membership in marvelous Ms. Mary Moon's (Bless Our Hearts) Church of Batshit Crazy. If ever anyone deserved to be a congregant it's gotta be me. The recent downpours in Southern California found me cutting apart plastic gallon milk cartons to make teensy awnings for the hummingbird feeders that are not protected from the rain. Can't have the little monsters getting drowned while trying to sip their 93 or so meals a day, now can we? And then, of course, when the concrete around the pool developed puddles as deep as lakes I had to construct a makeshift bridge of some 2 x 4's I had in the garage so that Baskin, my crazy cat who chooses to live outdoors and eat indoors, could enter the house through the door I leave open for him to dine on kibble without being up to his kitty knees in water....(I don't think they make galoshes in sets of 4, especially in such a tiny size). The best thing about such bizarre projects is that no standards have yet been established....consequently I can bask in the glow of having really done my best.
All of this reminds me of the most wonderful compliment I have ever received. One of my dearest friends (now gone) was Bob, a brilliant man I worked with for many years during my days as a starving artist. He founded the little greeting card company for whom I designed cards and subsequently ended up as Art Director and my boss when we worked at UCLA designing and producing all their publications. When I was struggling against a deadline to produce a poster for one of the Theater Arts projects and groaning about being unable to come up with anything I felt was acceptable, he stopped what he was doing, turned to me, looked me in the eye and said, "Lois, believe me, your worst is good enough".
Happy Holidays and God Bless Us Every One!
The New Yorker covers: July 7 & 13, 2008
8 hours ago