Saturday, January 5, 2013

New Years Resolutions

I am resolved to be a very fit African American man who runs so fast he has to blow a parachute out his butt to slow himself down for a photo op.

Perhaps not.

Well, I made it through the insanity that is creating Christmas. I say "creating Christmas" because the occasion which we celebrate, the Incarnation, is a done deal. Finished. Complete. Tada. But this annual parade of concerts, gift buying, cookie making, family visiting, house decorating, worship-service-coodinating, yuletiding, card writing, festivity-planning, Hallmark-television-special-watching and packing of calendars with potentially volatile and guilt-inducing events is a creation of our own making that, for some reason I don't really understand, we feel compelled to create over and over again, lest we have no spirit of love within us, we stop being able to hear jingle bells, and Santa only brings underwear until we die.

Don't get me wrong - I love the Incarnation, the idea that God knew we'd screw it up so much on our own that he had to step in and do something about it. I love the whole baby-in-a-manger thing. I love the thought of shepherds freaking out on hillsides. I love the Incarnation, but after all the merrymaking, I am not yet so sure I am in love with Christmas. Nonetheless it does not need my affection in order to triumphantly blow its way in and out of my life for one more year, and it has been successfully - or at least acceptably - created, photographed and boxed up for another twelve months. I have to admit to my own sense of deep personal satisfaction that a 13 foot dead tree in my living room is completely bedecked with trinkets which I picked out and stuck on the branches just so. So there. Shoot me with candy-cane bullets, I deserve it. It's definitely a love-hate thing.

On to New Years. Another creation of ours, since I am convinced the universe couldn't give a rat's ass whether or not we think its time to call it a wrap and start the clock over again.

On New Years Day, both my parents had coughs. By the morning of Jan 2nd, I was driving them to urgent care. By the afternoon of Jan. 2nd I was ferrying back and forth between their retirement home, work, the pharmacy, and the hospital. Dad was admitted for the flu, mostly because he's 91 and the doctors don't like the odds for old dudes running around on the streets with upper respiratory infections. Mom, who is 89, was sent home with bacterial bronchitis, a massive amount of antibiotics and tamaflu, and a prescription for bed rest and fluids.

The rest of the week was hospital visits, full of consultations with pharmacists and doctors and nurses and techs. Discussions with the parents went something like this:

Me: Dad, how are you feeling?
Dad: Meh. Where's mom? (He never refers to her as Grace anymore, just mom.)
Me: She's at home, with bronchitis.
Dad: (looking confused) But aren't we home right now?
Me: No, dad, you're in the hospital. You have the flu.
Dad: (shaking his head.) Well.....
Me: Don't worry, you'll be home soon. Now drink some of this juice.
Dad: I don't have my wallet.
Me: That's right. I have your wallet and keys. Would you like some of this juice?
Dad: I don't have my keys.
Me: Yes, that's right, I have them. How about some juice?
Dad: Where's mom?
Me: She's at home with bronchitis.
Dad: (looking confused) But aren't we home right now?

You get the idea.

Me: Hi mom, how are you feeling?
Mom:  I'm squeak squeak croak croak cough cough cough
Me: I'm sorry, mom, I didn't get that.
Mom: Squeak squeak my croak croak cough cough cough
Me: Ok, I'll do the talking. Dad is doing better. I'm going to stop by later. Is there anything I can get you?
Mom: (holding the phone further from her face) COUGHCOUGHCOUGHCOUGHCOUGH

You get the idea.

So, what about the African American dude with the fanny parachute?

Just this. I am not that guy. Nobody is that guy. And if anyone really is that guy I can guarantee I'd probably find that guy enormously annoying. Who has time to tie a parachute to their butt and run around for the friggin wind resistance? Isn't life complicated enough as it is? Must we hear jingle bells AND have parachutes wafting out our asses?

I am not as misanthropic or cynical as it sounds. Really, I am not. In fact, I have decided to start yoga classes later this month. I will make my creaky knees bend to the dog-saluting-the-sun position, and I will try mightily not to fart with the effort. I will make graceful figure eights with my arms in the hopes of eventually achiving, not nirvana, but a modicum of balance and fitness. I will wear yoga pants in an effort to slow the winds of time propelling me inexorably towards the days when my health will come out of a small brown bottle, my mind will wander, and my butt will be big enough to be its own parachute.

I suppose that's what the holidays are about anyway. Taking stock. Buying a yoga mat. Giving it your best shot, whether or not the jingle bells are ringing. Saying things to people with the hopes that they will hear them, and if they do, that they only hear the smart parts and not the stupid stuff that invariably follows right before I shut up.

So happy Incarnation, folks. And a not too repellent new year. Now move over and make room for my mat. I'm coming in.

1 comment:

  1. OH MY WORD! Your blog blows my mind. . .thank you for taking such amazing care of Gramma and Grampa! You amaze me and I hope you love your yoga class! I cannot wait for the opportunity to get back into yoga!