Thursday, January 5, 2017

Quarter Pound of Reason

We're a little more than halfway through the first week of the New Year and of this new decade. Breathe deeply, pilgrim(ette), it still has that just-baked aroma. I'm glad I was born a human since I lack any special skills or abilities that would have enabled me to survive to anywhere near my current age as any other life form on this planet. ('Look, Livingston! It's a ring-tailed bandicoot trying to access blogger.com!' Or not. And thus ends my homage to H.H. Munro (I hope it has earned your seal of approval)).

No other species divides the rotation of the earth around the sun in quite the rigid and unyielding demarcations we create-and let's be honest here, we are very good at it. Because we wind up with extra hours and fractions of time that accumulate as merrily we roll along, every four years we have a leap year, though this isn't one of those. I've never personally known anyone born on the Leap Day (if that's what February 29 is called) but I've read enough stories about the birthday celebrations and such to be happy that my mother had the good sense to wait until Spring to have me.

Meanwhile, it's a new calendar page, but the challenges and opportunities look very familiar, don't they? We need to resolve (assuming you didn't make any resolutions (I always resolve to NOT keep any I might make and therein lies the contradiction)) if such a formality is, indeed, required, to move from the 'talking about a problem' to 'finding a solution' (use of the indefinite article is deliberate there. I'm always disquieted by folks who tell me they have found 'the' way rather than 'a' way. (Not that I don't admire their confidence; I just don't share it. See: YMMV.)

My concern for this New Year, much like in the one just passed (and many of those before that one), is that we get distracted while on the way to addressing a situation, and end up accepting less than our best effort as a solution, and leave undone something we meant to do. And then at the end of the day, or the end of a life, we don't reflect on where we started and how we got there, but rather turn the page and begin again oblivious that we've lost a day but are no wiser or better for its passing. 

Perhaps this is the year we try "a small sprig of time and as much of prudence, you mix them all together." Thanks for the recipe, Tim Hart. It looks like we'll go the rest of the way without you.
-bill kenny

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