Another Artificial Milestone

Another artificial milestone is about to pass into history.  The Earth has completed one full rotation around a small star in a galaxy among billions of other galaxies.

For some reason we opt to mark this milestone as somehow important to our own lives, lives themselves measured by such rotations.  We mark it by making lists.

I understand; much as we need sleep, much as our brain need the daily dose of down time to process, assimilate, make sense of the day’s events, we need the lists presented at year’s end to help us make sense of the past 31,536,000 seconds.  This then, is my list.

First and foremost, 2010 marks the continuation of a long string of uninterrupted years that both augmented and validated my understanding of the world.  Wisdom really is a product of longevity, but alas it is of no use trying to pass it onto others; it only serves to make them feel stupid later on, when it turns out, and they realize so, they should have listened.

Wisdom cannot be imparted; it is derived from living life, and learning the right lessons.  The trick is recognizing the right lessons from those not worth spit.  I could help with that, but, as I said, no one would listen.

So, in no particular order, on to other stuff.

Racquetball continues to be an important and enjoyable part of my life.  2010 saw a reduction in the amount of time allocated to the sport, but in my humble estimation, an improvement in the quality and level of challenge I offer my opponents.  This I’m sure is in no small part due to improvements of said opponents.  I tend to rise to the challenge presented me, so to my opponents, my heartfelt thanks.  Alas, there is sadness in the horizon . . . The club I play at will be switching to a new facility; a facility devoid of racquetball courts.  That will happen in a scant four months, at which time my playing time will drop to zero.  Sad, I know, to waste this immense innate talent, but one has to play the cards life deals, and right now the hand sucks.  Perhaps other opportunities will present themselves, but the plan right now is for me to hang up my racquets on the first of May.

Photography this past year continued to provide an outlet for my artistic side.  While not recognized by anyone outside friends and family, I do think my quest for continued improvement has resulted in marginally better photos over those from just a year or two ago.  Or so I tell myself.

I still dabble in writing, and this year I acted on my desire for wider exposure of my self-proclaimed brilliance.  I be gotz myself one of them there blogs.

For those unfamiliar with the concept, you are reading a post from that blog.  Basically, blog posts are self-indulgent essays regaling unwary visitors with exploits and semi-important events from otherwise uninspired and largely obscure lives.  They are not as inane or trivial as Tweets, but at the same time they do share Tweet’s fundamental worth . . . words to the electronic winds, devoid of any importance to all but a tiny, tiny, tiny fractions of the total human bio-mass

Some successful blogs will pull in thousands of visitors a day.  I manage one or two visitors a day, half of which are spammers looking to augment traffic to their own sites.  Still, as with my photography, my writing is mostly for my own egotistical pleasure and entertainment.  Plus, writing is writing.  I figure every word I put to paper counts as practice, and gets me closer to whatever masterpiece I will eventually churn out.

Work continues to be a part of my life, with me trying to determine a future time for retirement.  The key lies in determining the balance between a length of employment sufficient to secure a reasonably solid financial base for retirement, and an equally sufficient time between the commencement of retirement, and the end of my time.  This is one of those problems whose answer comes too late to be of use to most people.  Basically it’s a crapshoot; you roll your dice, and you hope in the end to break even.

Leisure time is marked by the watching of a few weekly television shows (Castle, Human Target, The Big Bang Theory, and Lie To Me), catching up to old series and movies on Netflix’s streaming offerings, and listening to favorite weekly podcasts.  Add a 10-15 miles of walking per week, some music, some reading, and some sleeping, and the week is pretty much shot.

Lest anyone thinks this a complaint, I know I have a good life; a life that would be the envy of billions if they could even envision it.  Most of us forget just how good we have it.  I don’t.  I know every minute I spent this past year is the result of incredibly fortuitous events that had me born to circumstances offering opportunities available only to very few.

Sure, there was some hard work involved, and sacrifices, setbacks, and even some hard times, but I count myself as one of the lucky ones.  I don’t dare ask for more, but will be thankful if chance continues to favor me this coming year, and I wish the same for all of you.

Happy New Year.