“Some things are so impossible, so fantastic, that when they happen, you are not at all surprised. Their sheer impossibility has made you imagine them too many times in your head, and when you find yourself on that longed-for moonlit path, it seems unreal but still, somehow, familiar. You dreamed of it, of course; you know it like a memory.” Andrew Sean Greer
The best thing that happened to me in 2021 just happened.
I know how unlucky am I?
How am I going to get through the rest of the year knowing not a single moment will be able to top this one?
Think about what could possibly be the best thing that could happen to you this year and imagine it just happened? (take your time, noodle on it, I’ll wait)
As Pablo Picasso says, “everything you can imagine is real.”
How would that paint the rest of your year?
It would paint mine a mousey brown because everything else will pale in comparison.
Let’s start at the very beginning, the first day of the new year began with a challenging hike to the top of Mt. Konocti, it was not my idea, that one would come from my neighbor Sue, in the form of an early morning text, which I would have ignored, but she also sent it to my husband Larry as backup, as if throwing out a second line while fishing, and guess who took the bait.
“Sure, we love to hike,” Larry messages back.
“I thought we were going to sit on the couch all day and watch football, only moving when necessary, to eat or pee?”
“Now you’re suddenly interested in football?”
“I’m interested in sitting on my ass all day and football is the lure.” My plan had nothing to do with an odd shaped ball, men running around with whistles, and beefy guys with tattoos bulldozing each other on a perfectly groomed field. That’s for the less refined.
My plan is more etherial, reading, writing, pondering that which is sophisticated, elegant, like poetry and online shopping, something that requires good taste, balance, rhythm. Work with me people.
“Get dressed we leave in a half hour.”
“Honey I can’t go, I have to wash my mask.”
I get the look.
Half way up the mountain I thought I was going to barf up my french toast, but after removing my glasses you’ll be relieved to know the nausea went away, and I was able to continue with the torturous adventure without leaving my breakfast on the trail. For some reason after struggling up a steep incline for the better part of an hour, the reader section of my glasses acts as a magnifier, and while hiking it creates this woozy sensation (I believe that’s the proper medical term) that’s rather upsetting to my gastronomical region.
Larry calls this a Cheryl issue?
After conquering the mountain, we didn’t plant a flag or anything, but I did stand on the top of a picnic table and sort of roared like an untamed animal, it was really more of a moan, let’s not get all judicial, they’re similar.
And like a sounder of swine, we stormed down that mountain towards Pogo’s Pizzeria (best damn Pizza in the world), and barely managed to scarf down an extra large meat lovers pie in less than fifteen minutes. I know, sluggish. As Andrew Sean Greer says, “his brain sits before its cash register again, charging him for old shames as if he has not paid before.”
We point Jim’s truck towards home, finally my sore ass lands on a blessed couch, happy as a pig in muck, am I low maintenance or what?
This is when my rip, cord, and steal thighs start seizing up as if one of those shrinking garden hoses, it’s painful to reach for my phone, or get Larry to refill my coffee. This is my reward for living healthy? I really don’t understand why people do this to themselves, it’s traumatic, not to be confused with dramatic, whole different issue.
As an aside, I was listening to the top three New Years resolutions on the radio on our way home, which are to lose weight, exercise more, and save money. How original? What about developing a signature drink, reading Remember of Things Past, or actually flossing every day? The way I see it is if you eat less, you save money, and if you exercise you lose weight, you might as well exercise, I mean what else are you going to do if you’re not eating, which also supports the other goal of saving money because you can’t browse Amazon while your working out. Hello people. These are mutually inclusive goals. Can we employ a little creativity?
My resolutions are to keep my succulents alive, sleep more, and meet Andrew Sean Greer in person. #GoalsAF
In other news, I picked out my 2021 word. It’s referred to as WOTY (word of the year), very popular with writer types, words being our thing and all. Kurt Vonnegut says, “we are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be,” in other words choose your words wisely. Am I the only one who thinks that’s funny?
After a leisurely scan of the lake I picked my word. I knew it would be out there. The lake never fails me.
My word for 2021… drumroll please… is sail.
Did you just get goose bumps? Me too.
See sail can act as both a verb and a noun. I really like multipurpose words, don’t we all, you can toss them about in both the front and back of a sentence. It’s totally worthy.
Let’s not get off on a tangent just because we’re “in irons.”*
Sail as a noun has to do with capturing enough force in which to propel one forward. Get my drift?
Now as a verb it gets even better, it means to travel, move smoothly, or in a stately and confident manner.
So there you have it, my 2021 word is sail, feel free to borrow it if you find yourself in need, I welcome seasoned sea dogs.
If you’ve ever been on a sailboat, you’ll understand the importance of wind. Without wind the boat will not move, it will drift about with the current…therefore, it is not the blowing of the wind, but the setting of the sails that will determine our direction in life. Placement is key…
Okay, speaking of sailing, I am flying high after the best thing that will happen in 2021 just happened.
Do you want to know more?
Too damn bad (just kidding).
Okay, strap yourself in because this is going to set your sails.
walk limp into the house after that misfortunate hike, the sweating, the pizza, and as if a hen I start brooding (when a hen is broody she is sitting on a nest, putting all her energy in sitting, she will only leave the nest to eat, drink, and relieve herself), this is so me. Maybe that should have been my WOTY? There’s always 2022. Anyhoo…I start scanning the recent comments on Living in the Gap, interacting with my fellow bloggers, trying to be clever and appreciative, which is harder than you think.
Then bam, one of my favorite bloggers (a recent epiphany) makes a comment on my blog, she said while reading Andrew Sean Greer’s book Less, she was reminded of my writing. Wait. What? I had to read it three times with my mouth in the form of a hooked fish.
“Just for the record: happiness is not bullshit,” says Andrew Sean Greer
Okay, Less is a book about an aging gay man, who after being dumped by his lover, decides to ease his heartbreak on a lengthy journey, but don’t get caught up in the details.
We’re talking about Andrew Sean Greer, a Pulitzer Prize winning novelist.
PS – Andrew Sean Greer just tweeted to me, “may all these come true in 2021.” I’ll never be able to stop smiling!
I’m Living in the Gap, come sail away, come sail away, come sail away with me!
*A sailing vessel is “in irons” when she is trapped in the“No Go Zone”, unable to bear away and begin sailing.
Oh and drop the absolute best thing that could happen to you in 2021 in the comments and let’s see how we can support one another.
- “Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.” Dr. Seuss
- “The storm only comes to teach you how to skillfully sail your ship.” Matshona Dhliwayo
- “We can not direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.” Dolly Parton