Sunday, January 1, 2012

In The Lonely Cool Before Dawn

Happy Leap Year! For everyone who found that 2011 was just a tad too short to cram in all the fun you planned on having, I give you the 366 day year. Sadie Hawkins - you magnificent wench! Good to see you again.

I hope that for you and yours the transition from last year to this one went smoothly. And presuming it did, here is to hoping that the 365 days that follow this one pay heed to the example it has set for them.

In these United States, 2012 shall bring a Presidential election. It seems as if the Republicans have been on the campaign trail since January 21, 2009. They are now firmly ensconced in the "Adult Swim" portion of the program with the good folks of Iowa set to caucus this week and a litany of primaries to follow thereafter.

If you want proof that the Presidential campaign process starts too damn early and lasts too damn long, you need look no further than the resurgency of former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum in the Republican field. Any campaign that lasts long enough to make those doing the listening to all of the speechifying think that anything emanating from his mouth sounds like a reasonably good idea is one that has gone on for too long. I am a Republican and I cannot fathom the elected office for which I would cast a vote for Santorum. One for which I would not, however, leaps readily to the forefront of my mind.

There is much ground to cover between this first day of 2012 and the first Tuesday following the first Monday of November 2012, which is when we the people shall go to the polls to either re-elect President Obama or elect a new occupant of the Oval Office. How it all shall shake out remains to be seen. If you think you know how this particular game of hardball is played, then do yourself the great favor of buying and/or hornswaggling from your local library the book Game Change. It should be required reading in every high school U.S. History/Government class in this country.

Being an Irishman and a simple-minded lad as well, I choose not to worry now about such large-scale things as the Presidential election. Tip O'Neill's lesson regarding politics, "Think global, act local" has practical application in any number of other disciplines.

As a parent I am pleased because although neither of my two resides in the same area code - or the same time zone for that matter - as the Missus and I do, it appears to me as if each of them is starting 2012 in a really, really good place. Each has reached this point in their respective lives without being burdened by bad advice from Yours truly. My resolution for 2012 is to keep that streak intact with regard to both of them. But not interfering does not mean that I am not rooting really hard for a specific outcome. At some point in the not-too-distant past each one awakened to find that where they were was at peace. 'Tis the world's most precious commodity. One worth fighting for and one worth working hard to protect. My wish for Suz and for Rob in 2012 is that the peace that found them last year continues to ride with them into and through this year and the ones that follow it.

I know not if it is something one ever outgrows - the sense that accompanies the beginning of every year that one has nothing but time in which to get things done - but I think perhaps it is. I know that I am better attuned to the relentlessness of time's march as I approach 45 than I was at 25. A few years ago, speaking of the importance of embracing the time that we are given - of measuring it qualitatively and not quantitatively, someone wrote, "Don't stand up on the dunes and watch the waves crash over the sand from afar. Let the cold water slap up against your legs and your back. Let it scare you a little, let it heighten your senses a little, let it excite you a little."

Not bad advice I reckon although - as is his habit - a fellow Jerseyan expressed it better and more succinctly, "Show a little faith there's magic in the night"....

A lifetime's worth in fact. Dive on in, the water is fine.

Happy New Year....


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