Did I say that 2012 was a doozy? From that long-ago year's relatively cushy vantage point, I quite literally did not know the half of it. This was the year that the other shoe dropped. I still haven't sorted through 2013's considerable lessons sufficiently to retrieve salient talking points, much less wrangled the time to get them in some kind of order, but trust me when I say that finally, after 52 years, I walk around with the sense that everything is, at its root, just fine. If you were worrying, please stop. And if you weren't worrying, for god's sake, don't start. I mean, I also finally get that what you do is none of my business, but one of this year's lessons was that worry solves exactly nothing. Action, on the other hand....
Alas, 2013 is not the year that sees me returning to the extensive cataloging of yore. On the other hand, I no longer view submitting fewer items than the "full" 100 as some kind of defeat; hell, I barely see it as less-than.
Without further ado, then, here are 52 things that I learned this year—one for each year I am old. A new tradition! For a new year!
- No, really: S-U-R-R-E-N-D-E-R.
- Crap, like rust, never sleeps.
- Crisp sheets are worth the ironing.
- This includes pillowcases.
- But not, strangely enough, the bottom sheet.
- Pink is my favorite color.
- I am more surprised by this than anyone else.
- Never underestimate the entertainment value of random shit.
- Always let your wig do the heavy lifting.
- I'm just not that into Twitter.
- People are awesome.
- Occasionally, this includes elected officials.
- No matter how broke you get, you won't regret what you spent on art.
- When in doubt, write like you talk.
- But above all, write.
- If it came from anywhere other than the place where your legs meet, get it in writing.
- Especially if "it" has to do with health insurance deductibles.
- More often than not, I'm the dumbest person in the room.
- More and more, I'm down with that.
- When you have to produce the goods, a dress makes you feel like a million bucks.
- Alas, the shoes that'll get you there safely make you look like a tiny duck.
- Sign heaven exists, and it's just east of the 110.
- I'm not done with acting.
- Oh, boy, am I not.
- Less gossip = mo' better.
- The truth shows up when you least expect it.
- True miracles help make more miracles.
- Whether you know it or not.
- And most of the time, you won't.
- Death by a thousand cuts works the other way, too.
- Stories make more sense the more you tell them.
- Getting old means everything seems like it happened yesterday.
- If it's good and it's loving, it's a "yes".
- The journey of 3,798,493 steps starts with a single Fitbit.
- A solid deadline beats good intentions every time.
- The cure for loneliness is not more "me"-time.
- You meet the strangest people opting-out.
- Parties aren't the worst way to ring in the new year.
- Subscribing to just one magazine is okay if there's just one you want to read.
- The undocumented life is well worth living.
- It's okay to ask for help.
- No, really: IT'S O-K-A-Y.
- Heaven on Earth is a voice lifted in song.
- This is the last year Facebook puts together a better highlights reel than I do.
- Those Buddhists know a thing or two about a thing or two.
- Getting fired feels horrible.
- Reconciling yourself to it with grace, however, almost compensates.
- There will never be a "done".
- There will never be a day when this doesn't make that a little easier to bear.