It sounded like a great idea at the time. Most of my ideas do. “Hair-brained scheme” is what Mama sometimes called them.
Last year, I greeted the New Year with the proclamation that I wanted to make it a “year of me.” I groused over how life had taken control of me and that I did too many things that I didn’t want to. I declared that I would begin saying “no” to that which did not interest me instead of saying “yes” out of courtesy.
I planned to be selfish not selfless, to maneuver life not be manipulated by it. I declared that 2010 would be all about me. I was giddy with anticipation.
My friend, Debbie, giggled. “What happens if you like it? What will you do next year, for 2011.”
My reply was quick. “I’ll have a sequel. The Year of Me, Part II.”
“Hey,” she replied. “This could be an on-going series. You could just keep doing sequels.”
I sighed blissfully. “Yeah.” I loved the thought of it all.
As Mama also always said, “Never be a bragger. It’ll come back and bite ’cha in the butt.”
Well, I did and it did. Though I will readily admit that it did become the “year of me.” Just not in the way I had predicted or anticipated.
Mama used to say, too, “Be careful what you ask God for. You might get it.”
Well, I did and I did.
When life is all about you, that means your thoughts are consumed about you and everything revolves around how situations and decisions affect you. That sounded pretty good to me because I was thinking along the lines of, “Where am I going on vacation?” “When am I going to get my nails done?” “Do I want a 60-minute massage or a 90-minute massage?”
Ha! Long known for my non-fiction writing, you can now say that I’m an excellent purveyor of fiction as well. The “Year of Me” — at least the way I saw it — was merely whimsical fantasy. The reality of the “Year of Me” was much different. The actual questions were, “How am I going to fix this mess?” “Lord, are you there?” “How did this happen?” “What do you mean you can’t repair it?” “With all these problems, how am I going to find time to get my hair done?”
This is how bad the year was: My dog bit me. Yes. Dixie Dew, whom we have all — mistakenly as it turns out — thought to be precious and adoring, bit me. She had a thorn deep in her front paw from playing outside. I tried to be gentle but, apparently, her idea of gentleness and mine are different.
Without warning, she grabbed one of my offending fingers and chomped down hard on it. It’s pretty bad when your own dog bites you.
Then, in keeping with the tone of the year, the finger got infected.
Somewhere around June, I was tired of the “Year of Me.” I was worn out from all the focus on me. I was ready to segue into the “Year of Anyone But Me.”
I folded my arms across my chest, looked heavenward and declared, “Enough of the Year of Me! I’m sure there’s someone who needs attention more than I do.”
One of my friends had some minor trauma going on in her life. I don’t remember what it was since I was totally wrapped up in the ridiculous “Year of Me.”
A few days later, she checked in on me and I was courteous enough to inquire to her situation though I was discourteous enough to add, “I’m sorry I haven’t prayed for you. I’ve been too busy praying for myself.”
Good friend that she is, she belly laughed.
For what it’s worth, I am not proclaiming a sequel for 2011.
I’m sick of me.
Ronda Rich is the best-selling author of “What Southern Women Know (That Every Woman Should).” Visit www.rondarich.com to sign up for her weekly newsletter.