Also: Happy beginning of the end of the world!
Apparently, at least according to the internet and popular culture/media and the nifty calendar we’ve got in the bedroom (what can I say? I’m a sucker for all things post-apocalyptic, and the Apocalypse calendar was just too much to resist), the world is all set to end this year. Nobody’s particularly clear on exactly how this is meant to happen–fires and floods and aliens and earthquakes and vanishing subcontinents are among the more popular theories, but a quick Google search for “2012 End of the World” brought me about 42 million results just now, so you can certainly spend the day reading up on the speculation–but everyone seems to be in agreement, more or less, that this year is it. The end. Kablooey.
Now, I’m not really one to subscribe to these sorts of things. I reckon that if the world ends, it ends; and unless I’ve got some secret ninja superhero powers that nobody told me about, then I can’t really do anything about it except buckle in and hope for the best, so that’s pretty much my plan in case of actual physical external cataclysm. If I keep exercising, maybe by that time I’ll be flexible enough to actually bend over and kiss my backside goodbye.
But here’s the thing: no, I don’t have the power to end a full-scale global collapse; neither do I have the power to start one–at least, not that I’m aware of, and I’m really quite ok with that, thank you very much. But I do have the power to end my own world, and build whatever new one strikes my fancy. Anytime I want. Right now, for instance. And so can you.
Did you catch that? You can end the world anytime you want to.
My world right now includes a bodyshape that I’m not thrilled about. So we got a treadmill, and I am ending that world. (If you can’t afford a treadmill–we couldn’t until we happened to find this great deal on one–then there’s always the great outdoors, where walking is free. If it’s too cold where you live, there are lots of indoor options, including the mall, where you can play a fun game of “dodge the people with the stands in the middle of the hall who will leap out in front of you and try to demonstrate their hand cream or portable back massager or smokeless cigarettes”. Double points if you can make it all the way around the mall without being slowed down by any of them!)
My world includes a larger-than-I’m-really-proud-of number of things that have landed on various flat surfaces–catalogs on tables, tools on whatever shelf is closest to the project for which they were last used, throw blankets thrown on the floor–and one noun at a time, I am changing that, by thinking of them as abandoned pets and finding them loving new “forever homes” in linen closets, the garage, etc. This is an uphill battle, because Moon Man and I are both notorious for setting something down and then immediately forgetting it even exists, let alone that it’s in the wrong place; but it’s a battle worth fighting, if for no other reason than that we’d like to be able to use the coffee table for, say, coffee. So we’re giving it a go. The cluttered, things-live-where-they-landed world is ending.
Right now I have long hair (to approximately the middle of my back) that goes into a ponytail every single day, because I know exactly nothing about how to style it effectively, particularly given that it’s super-fine so it won’t hold a curl for love or money and it makes the most pathetically scrawny braids/buns/twists you’ve ever seen in life. My mission this year: figure out how to work with what I’ve got, or else get rid of it. That world is on the verge of ending.
I also have a sewing machine I don’t know how to use (it was Grandma’s, and the instructions are probably around here somewhere but I keep meaning to set up a Bonding Experience with Mom so she can come teach me and we can laugh and make a fun memory), and I’m buying clothes that are marked way up because they’re plus-sized while fabrics I like go on sale for, like, $2/yard. This world is also on the verge of ending.
The bottom line of all of it is that while I neither have nor want the power to destroy any subcontinents or redraw all the current political boundaries or spearhead the formation of the United Federation of Planets, I do have the ability to destroy my own little world whenever I want to, and recreate it in a form that makes me happier (caveat: no fair destroying other people’s worlds in the process. Be always mindful of the effects of your actions on the people around you. Changing your own world is fantastic, as long as it doesn’t impinge on anyone else’s ability to change theirs; for example, maybe you’ve always wanted to become a DIY fireworks hobbyist, and I’m all for following your passion, but it’s just bad form to accidentally destroy your neighbor’s house in pursuit of your own fiery bliss. Play nicely with each other, remember, and share the toys.) Furniture can be moved; your body can be moved; the dust on the shelf can be rearranged, if not removed altogether. You are allowed to get rid of the things you no longer use, and there is no law that says you have to replace them. You are allowed to change the way your body looks or functions. You are allowed to change the way you think.
In other words, you have the power to end your current world anytime you want, and rebuild it in a way that’s more appropriate to your dreams, your goals, your Tuesday afternoon whims. It’s your world, and you have absolute–and sole–authority over how it will function. You can choose who does and does not get a vote–I, for instance, have given my husband a vote, because our worlds overlap more or less constantly, what with that whole sharing-our-lives thing, but I retain veto power in case he loses his mind–because ultimately you are the one and only person who actually lives in your world. It is your world.
So go on! Destroy your world if it’s not working for you. Build a new one that fits you better, and decorate it in whatever garish colors suit your fancy. Play nicely with each other and share the toys, sure, but once you’ve got your little pile of Legos, build whatever your heart desires.
It’s 2012! We were expecting the world to end anyway, right? So let’s end it. And let’s do it in a way that makes us feel fine.
(Everybody sing along!)