Well, once each year comes the day I am supposed to celebrate. I actually did used to celebrate the day when I was a kid and people would give me presents and there would be a cake and candles and all that. But as time went on, and on, and then on some more, the day became less one to celebrate and more one to attempt to avoid in hopes that such avoidance would stop the passage of time and anyway no one was giving me presents anymore. So, on this day nowadays, I go get my flu shot. Yippee and all that!
The thing is, in the last few years I have been (as you know) thinking about time and about the stories we tell each other and ourselves about time and how we have (or have not) spent our time and who we have been. It has occurred to me that I can tell any story about myself that I can imagine and there is the possibility that the story I tell might be or become true–not that it really matters if it is or is not true, because it is after all just a story. A story about who I might have been before today, and another story about who I might be tomorrow. And all of these stories could possibly add up to me. When I was teaching “business and society”, I used to tell my students a story (that may have been true) about when America was younger and there were still “frontiers”. Then, a person could be one person in one place and if that did not work out, the person could move on west and be a different person, and who would know? The possibilities probably appeared endless. But as the frontiers disappeared under the weight of population density and westward ho and such, those possibilities for remaking oneself seemed to disappear as well.
But I am thinking now that one can remake oneself anytime one decides to be in a different story. Or to re-remember the stories one told others and oneself about oneself (perhaps a few too many oneselfs here). There are many me’s and even more potential me’s. So, on this day now and in future, in addition to getting my flu shot (and making myself that pumpkin pie), I think I will consider the story I would like me to tell about myself next year.
And what a year that was!!!!!