Column: No one is youer than you


Here we are in the new year, wondering if the past year can be put behind us as we forge to higher ground in our future. I just found out my future depends on me. I am so mad. Who thought that was a good idea? I like to blame others for all my dumb ideas I put to good use that don’t work out. Up to me … bah humbug.

At the end of each year, Gar and I high-five each other for surviving my cooking. I always promise him I’ll not change and will keep being my weird little quirky self. He tells me the quirks of everyone is what makes them, them. I guess that means he’s keeping me, and possibly that he’s using oxycodone.

I recently read a meme and while visiting our offspring, repeated it, “Don’t expect any New Year’s resolution from me. I intend on staying the same awkward, outspoken delight you have all come to know and love.”
One son, much less tolerant than his father, scrunched his eyebrows into a scowl and commented dryly, “Ya, life just wouldn’t be worth living if we didn’t hear your daily thoughts.”

I have to express feelings because it’s all God gave me. He didn’t make me amazing at tasks or able to use my brain to analyze data. He made me, me. And he made you, you, and that little ditty, “Today you are you. That is truer than true. There is no one alive who is you-er than you” is a great truth.

In 2019, a woman named Man Kaur, age 103, competed as India’s oldest female athlete in the World Masters Athletic Championship in Poland. She won gold in four events; javelin, shot put, 60-meter dash and 200-meter run. And get this, she ran faster than she’d ran in the 2017 championship.

Then there’s Ginny Oliver, age 102, who’s still a lobster fisherwoman in the waters off the coast of Maine. June through October, three days a week, Ginny is up at 2:45 a.m. so she and her third son, Max, can be on the “Virginia,” the boat her late husband named after her.

What do these ambitious women have in common with the rest of us? At first glance, not much, yet they are like us; they just happen to have found something they love to do and have kept doing it. Maybe that’s the key to living a fulfilled life. Not expecting, hoping and wishing, but doing. Doesn’t that take effort? Now my eyebrows are scrunched in a scowl.

As the new year starts, it’s not usually a significant end to something or the monumental beginning of anything else. It’s simply another try at being a lot more valuable than we were, attempting to eliminate vices and willingly striving to be part of the solution and not the problem. None of us have it all figured out and also everybody’s family is crazy.

I don’t make resolutions because I don’t like change. Some people thrive on planning complex travel, experiencing dangerous adventures and carving complicated paths through difficult circumstances.

I’m not one of those people.

I’m a boring soul who, in 40 years, hasn’t changed the place where the calendar hangs. Then a friend gave me a beautiful Robert Duncan calendar and it wouldn’t fit in the space. I had to make a change. It wasn’t easy. I knew where it should go, but I’d have to pound a nail into my hickory cabinetry and if you’ve ever done that, well, God bless you, you understand my dilemma. Hickory is about as hard as my head and would take something on my part I didn’t like to part with … effort. I finally got a hammer and nail and hung what is really artwork. It actually made me happy, and that’s no easy task.

Considering the new year, I like a saying in Norway. When someone is asked how they’re doing, “Up and not crying” is a typical response. I’m using that. It’s about as good as a lot of days get. And since not all days are as joy filled as others, I’m doing something else I’ve never done before. “Spooky Scream” is a random bloodcurdling caterwaul you can choose for Alexa. I’m going to turn up the volume and when someone pulls into the driveway, I’ll say, “Alexa, start Spooky Scream in 60 seconds.” It won’t solve all my problems, but it’ll scare enough people to bring me merriment, and thus, it’ll be worth the effort.

Trena Eiden [email protected]

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