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After 2009 … New Year Deserves Fun!

This article was printed in the Sarasota Herald Tribune on January 1, 2010, page A17.

Though 2009 started on a high note for me with the inauguration of Barack Obama, the rest of the year was full of lows. From nonstop revelations of infidelities among the Lettermans, Woods, et al., to the news about banks that continued to melt down, to the losses of community touchstones such as Sarasota News & Books and the many restaurants and shops that closed for lack of business — not to mention the jobs that kept disappearing and the mortgages that kept defaulting — it’s been a blistering year of heartache and worry.

The crazy-year-that-was has been grueling, with too many of us behaving like hamsters, practically tripping over our own feet, caught on the dizzying wheel of making ends meet.

Time for a little fun, don’t you think?

Hard to think about fun, though, when the predictions for 2010 aren’t much better than the reality of 2009. And besides, I seem to have lost the knack. Last night, as I sat at the computer dutifully typing out my goals for next year, I realized they’re just a bunch of boring “must-dos” instead of fun-filled “dying-to-dos.”

What happened to ‘fun’?

Do I really want another year of struggling to lose 20 pounds and scrambling to replenish my decimated savings? Isn’t re-caulking the bathtub, reading “Remembrance of Things Past” and clearing out that mess of who-knows-what from under the bed aiming awfully low?

What happened to the woman who used to sprawl across her bed, dream big, and boldly exclaim her wishes for a future of fun: Visit Paris! Fall in love! Write a best seller! Skinny dip! Go blonde!

Somehow the recession-added fear factors that made me want to work from dawn to dusk, and all night too, have also made me lose sight of the only genuinely important promise of each new year: It’s not about what your head says you should do — it’s about what your heart knows you’d love to do.

We can’t control the economy, the wars or el Nino, but surely, we can find little ways to have more fun. So, this morning, I deleted my list of tired-out goals and replaced them with just one big idea: Have fun; every day; failure not an option.

Beyond just surviving

I’ll still keep my nose to the grindstone, earning enough money to keep myself in coffee and my cats in chow, but I’m not going to let another 365 days go by existing solely in survival mode. In 2010, baby, I’m going to have me some fun.

I’m going to go outside during a rainstorm and feel the skies letting loose, go to the beach not for exercise but to plop myself down and curl my toes in the sand, and visit friends in far-flung places even if it means curbing my enthusiasm for book-buying and thrice-weekly Cosmopolitans. I’m going to ride my bike with my hands off the handlebar, and dance to the radio in my jammies.

And, while I won’t be dying my hair blonde, can’t afford a trip to Paris and will draw the line at nude plunges on Siesta Beach, I am going to write that novel, buy a sexy suit for swimming, rip the plastic off my shrink-wrapped life and open my heart to sheer fun.

Happy new year, indeed.

Posted on January 1st, 2010Comments RSS Feed

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