A strange beginning to the year

Here I am, three days into 2012 (or, if you’re into Twitter we’re on page 3 of 366) and I’m not sure I’m exactly digging the year as yet.

In fact, I believe I’ll come to see New Year’s Day 2012 as an analogy for the entire year.

The morning started off great.  Unlike a lot of people, we took it easy on New Year’s Eve, hanging with friends, having some laughs and watching the ball drop.  I was in bed by 12:11 am.  Got a good night’s sleep and woke up refreshed and excited for the New Year.

Maybe it’s because I didn’t do my traditional playing of U2’s “New Year’s Day” first thing that’s screwing the year.  I don’t know.  We’ll reserve judgement on that one for a while longer.

What I did do is grab some breakfast, walk the dog, then sit down to take the first of 366 steps toward my newest Resolution, that is, the #WIP500 initiative I talked about in my end of year blog.  Basically, the aim is to write 500 words a day.  Every day.  And dammit, it really isn’t that hard.  I think the longest it’s taken me is maybe twenty minutes.  Who can’t take 1/72nd of a day to write?

Well…apparently me through most of 2011, for one.  But I’m fixing that now.  I’ve kept it up every day and faithfully entered my numbers on both Cara Michaels’ site (I’m #49) as well as in a separate page of this blog.

Some things I’ve noticed so far are all positive.

  1. Like I said, it takes no time at all to pound out 500 words.  I typically type for a few minutes, then do a word count check and find I’m already at the target.  Which leads to…
  2. Because it’s so painless, I actually do that word count and get a thrilling little “wow” moment.  And then I have permission to save it and not worry about it the rest of the day.  But I remember the “wow” at different points through the day.
  3. Because it’s only two double-spaced pages, I’m not writing until I have nothing left in the tank.  Hell, there’s lots left in the tank, so I can end it mid-sentence and leave a note as to where I’m going.
  4. I’m not walking around guilt-ridden all day because I haven’t written anything.
  5. I’m finally getting down a story that’s been percolating in my melon for a few years.  I’m getting to watch it come alive, two pages at a time.

So, the first hour was amazing.  Then I started on dinner, knowing it was going to be a great night with great friends.

In fact, the entire day went well until the Wife came down the stairs.  Unfortunately, most of the distance was traveled by way of flailing arms and thudding ass on stairs.  Of course, the blood-freezing scream she can bust out at times like these never helps.

So I go running to her as she came to rest on the bottom step.  And, as per usual in our house, the event was summed up neatly with dialogue between myself, the Wife and the Boy.

“Are you okay?” I ask.

“What do you think?” the Wife responds, and rather sarcastically for someone that’s just dropped ten feet of altitude at a rough and tumble forty-five degree angle.

“I think you just fell down the stairs,” I say.  “Are you okay?  Did you break anything?”

“No,” she says, dredging up her most miserable voice.  She tentatively bends a couple of joints.  No shrieks and everything bends the right way.

At this point, the Boy comes upstairs.  “What happened?” he asks.

“Your mom did her usual,” I say.

“Tried walking down the stairs and fell down them instead?” he says.

“Yeah,” I say.

“She okay?”

“She’s okay.”  Exit the Boy.

“I hate you both,” says the Wife.

She manages to hobble around the rest of the day, looking like an old man, stooped over with one hand on her lower back.  But with the aid of pharmaceuticals, she’s gets through it.

Our friends come over and we eat dinner and play games.  Much laughter ensues, including several memorable lines, such as:

  • “Babysitting is illegal.  Oh shit, wait.  Damn, I need new reading glasses.  Bestiality is illegal!”
  • “Oh shit!  I’m a duck!”
  • “I am an apology from a condom factory.”

Yes, it was a bizarre evening and it’s always a good time.

And then the evening was over.  I was left tired, but mostly happy, except for worrying about what the Wife was going through.  Her muscles were starting to tighten up and you could tell the bruises were coming.

I suggested she get into a tub of hot water to loosen the muscles, but she didn’t want to.  She’s not a “tub” person.  I remember mumbling something about it being good enough for athletes, but not her.

Which leads me to how this year seems to be shaping up.  Overall, I think it’s going to be a productive year, due to the commitment to #WIP500.  There’s going to be a lot of laughs.  There’s going to be some great realizations and learnings.  There’s going to be lots of friends and laughter.

But there will be pain too.  It’s just a part of life.

But the good thing is, I think we’ve learned to take it as it comes.  And if we can talk it through and crack a joke at the end, well then, that’s all we can ask for, isn’t it?

And we can break through
Though torn in two
We can be one.

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8 thoughts on “A strange beginning to the year

  1. Just for the record dear…you are so lucky I didn’t hear the athletes comment or you would have been in terrible pain as well…

  2. You’re skating the long canal, Tobin, but carrying a lofty goal with you. Smooth skating.

    And Karen, watch your step. You know how easily we trip up when least expected. Take care. (You could have milked that fall for hubby and son cooking dinner, you know)

  3. I think you have a good perspective on the new year, Tobin. Hope your wonderful wife is feeling better. Never fun to go cascading down a flight of stairs. Happy New Year to you both and may we all accomplish our goals!

  4. In England most of the houses have carpet everywhere (yes, even in the bathrooms! – Gross.) One wears one’s ‘bedroom slippers’ in the evening also (the rest of the time, shoes are just fine.) Countless times I have gone flying off the top step by way of a carpet skid, and had stairs, spindles, walls coming at me extremely quickly before I landed, winded, at the bottom. It is one of the scariest things you can ever go through because it is so unexpected and shocking. You and the boy really ought to have given Karen far more TLC…

  5. I see your 500 words, and raise you 500.

    You have inspired me Tobin, and your 5 positive points are what pushed me over the edge. 500 words is something that can be done as easily and in the same amount of time as checking email, facebook, twitter, or watching an episode of Intervention. Now I just have to get my ass in the chair with no excuses and no delays, and keep it there daily until I write those 500 words.

    Can I borrow your stapler?

    PS – glad Karen is a-ok. Sock sliding down the stairs is an old favourite of mine too.

  6. Ah, to have such drive… My worry is that it will be akin to untangling fishing line (not mine, my buddy’s brother’s). Each two pages will just add to the tangle no matter how I try to avoid it.

    BUT, inspired by your 500 words insanity, I have commited to a chapter a week editting. And if I started this week, I’m on track. I hates editting… and spelling, and punctuation and…

    Thanks a lot Tobin…

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