On rock and rolling around Sol
(Recommended playlist for this log; Spotify)
If I'm to believe that our calendar is more or less accurate (which is not, but it's been a pain in the ass to astronomers of the past centuries), today marks the end of another trip around our yellow star since I was born. First of all, that's a hell of a trip.
I have a strange attitude towards it. It is, of course, a matter of celebration, but the point is not to celebrate the arrival, because nothing short of my death would have prevented it from happening. Simply being here today has been the result of care from myself and others. What, then, is the matter of celebration?
Life? The first thing that comes to mind is the "L'Chaim" song in Fiddler on the roof. "To life, to life, l'Chaim!" is a call to celebrate that good things happen even when life seems otherwise shitty. In their case, the marriage of a daughter and in mine, compared to some of my peers, is the fact that I have a steady job, enough money to not have debts (and even regular nights out), I'm reasonably healthy and my worst vice is having more books than I can actually read and more games than I can actually play. Right now, without the clouds of depression, I can see that my life is pretty good and there are things to be grateful for.
However, gratefulness is something that one (I) should practice every day, not just once every turn around the Sun; and it's not really the reason to celebrate (although that was a big project of mine two years ago and it was a success). The question remains: Why celebrate? What are we/am I celebrating? Why once every year?
I tend to look at it not only in the terms of traditional celebration and the gifts and hugs I'll receive; but the other way around. Birthdays are arbitrarily good days to reflect on what I've done so far. What have I done with this gift that will never come again? Birthdays are a day to celebrate the gifts one has given to the world, however big or small they may be. Birthdays are days to reflect on one's effect on others, to think about the past as a teacher and to learn from it.
This past year I've come short of many of my goals. My "25 years of gaming wisdom" project was due last year and it's still unfinished. I won NaNoWriMo but with a great cost to my emotional health. Another project, "One year of gratefulness" is still waiting to be transcribed. Many other short stories sit finished on my hard drive, waiting to be edited and probably published, even if it's on the internet. I read less than I wanted, had to drop out of singing lessons and most nights I feel like I should do more with my life. It's fair to say it hasn't been the best year.
However, I'm not dead. These and many other "failures" have failed to kill me and today's a good day to see them as an anti-library of sorts. In a way, they are the promise of having more to do, room to expand inside myself, ideas to acquire and ponder, languages to learn, religions and customs to discover, understand and maybe even adopt. Today is a good day to see what more can I do for myself and others.
Post-script: Acceptable gifts are hugs, postcards or letters (yeah, "snail" mail is still totally a thing), thoughtful and inspirational articles on the internet, or even a thoughtful and sincere /msg from you. Kindle books would alse be nice but are not necessary, see above.
Additionally, I'm doing a small project today and I'd like your help. All you have to do is to send me a song that a) is on Spotify and b) makes you feel calm and helps you daydream. If you want to help, /msg me with the artist and song name. Thank you!