Sorting Time

I count on the end of each year as my moment for self-reconciliation, my opportunity to think through the year gone by and decide what it all means. Me, the bookkeeper AND the books, settled in at an imagined table to see how I did this year, my life a one-woman business of sorts. And I am–ordinarily–oh so good at taking the disparate bits of A Year of Life and saying, hey, Jackie, you did all right. A good year of being you, done and dusted. And, we all think you’re on track for another solid year of you-ness, and, heck beans, you might even be able to be pleased with all that.

Last year during Think Kit–a project whose timing so nicely coincides with my regularly scheduled brain-balancing (so you get to see bits of my process brought to the page, you luckies), I am certain I wrote post after post in which I found a way to see through a whole host of less-than-great situations to the brightness that hides on the underside. If you look for it, the light is there. The reason. The purpose. The sense of progress, even it’s only the barest breeze nudging your boat one degree westward.

Today’s prompt asks, What are you looking forward to in 2015?

Well–I don’t know. I don’t really have a lot on the calendar, and my tendency is to believe that in order to know where I’m going, I have to know where I’ve been–thus the fixation on attending to the arbitrary ‘ending’ that is December 31. We’ve placed a strict organizational mechanism on time and seem to also want it for ourselves.

I get it–it’s tidy. It’s comfortable like saying “How are you?” to someone you’ve just met is comfortable. But it’s not always the best question. It’s not necessarily the best way of framing “what’s next.”

So I want to throw it off, at least for the moment—at least while I write this post I want to believe that I could have other options. I want to attach my 2015 to something else; I want to try out new categories and means of sorting time into comprehensible parts. My 30s. Parenthood. My time living in Indianapolis. Everything before and after I met X person. Before and after made my first best friend. Moved away from my best friend. Before and after I first fell in love. Got my heart broken.  Before I left home the first time. After I had to come back and reconcile change with sameness. Before I read Foucault. Woolf. Saunders. Hampl. Tartt. Kingsolver. So many others.

My life before and after I started writing, perhaps.

I guess then where this leaves me is I’m looking forward to time. Perhaps to the coming of a new category, a new way of splitting life into before and after.

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