Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

i'm just inside of 3 hours left. the last 3 hours of a year spent throwing one yo-yo. it's really, REALLY not a big deal, and i have to say i'm ashamed of playing like it is on instagram and facebook and whatever.

at this point, i'm excited to make good on a deal i made myself. to hold up my own end of the bargain (which, of course, was the only end at all). it feels like one last xmas gift; one i saved for and which i get to open a few days late. in the movie 'rob roy', liam neeson calls honor 'the gift a man gives himself'. i don't know how much 'honor' can be attributed to any aspect of this endeavor, but it feels great going into these last few hours.

tonight, i'll kiss my kids goodnight, along with my wife (she's got to work in the morning). i'll probably put the big ball on tv. and i'll throw yo-yo. i'll try to "throw well" and just be grateful for these moments as they falter and expire with all the swiftness of a wood yo-yo dying into stillness... just like they do every night of every year, regardless of whether or not we pay attention.

i figure i've thrown the 'eh' at least 100,000 times this year. that's a lot of throws for one yo-yo. a lot of catches. a lot of missed tricks. a lot of snap-starts. a lot of spent string and frustration and relief and sanding axles and desperately eeking out sleepers and tuning out vibe... it used to look like this:

and now it looks like this:

i wouldn't trade anything in the world for those 100,000 throws. i wouldn't trade anything for this "not a big deal" experience, because it's the "not a big deal" things that you do (or don't do) that end up  defining who you are. they say 'you are what you eat', but really you are all that you do. you are your huge, grandiose successes and your most terrible failures, but mostly you're all of the tiny moments in between. you're 'washing the dishes' and 'making sure the kids wear their seatbelts' and 'sitting around looking at twitter'. you ARE those moments... and if you're reading this blog, then on some level, and in some way, you are what you throw... and how you throw... and WHY you throw.

in truth, as my time on wound down, i found myself a little disappointed. in the last few weeks, it occurred to me that so many of the ideas i wanted to explore this year, i never got around to building into tricks. in the beginning, a year seemed like SUCH a long time. it seemed like the path stretched forever and twisted so that i couldn't see more than a few yards in front of me. and then in the middle, it DRAGGED some days (especially on those july afternoons that saw my cotton string slip through my skin like razor-wire). i had some traction, and i had some purpose, but the monotony and routine still made it seem like "the end" was just some amorphous idea that couldn't take form. but on new year's eve... it occurs to me: THIS is what i was able to do with a year. THIS, and no more.

i hit some good tricks, i think. i busted some knuckles. i was a pretty good teacher and a pretty good dad and a pretty good husband. and a pretty good yo-yo player, in my way. i think on new year's eve, you always look at yourself and wonder if all your 'pretty good' could have been something more... and you wonder if you've got it in you to live up to that untapped potential tomorrow. i kept my promise... but do you ever really FULFILL it?

but at the end of the day (and at the end of the year), the overwhelming feeling i'm left with is one of gratitude. i'm SO fortunate to be able to give this kind of frivolous pursuit my attention and commitment. i have it SO GOOD to have been able to spend time thinking about what it means to play with a YO-YO... a TOY... and to be able to have shared this experience with my friends and find that some of them care about it, and even want to be part of it... it has been truly surreal.

a lot of people have asked me what i'll use for my first throw of 2013. it'll be that one at the top of the page there. my yo-yo. i owe it that much, at least.

i wish you the very best in 2013, and thank you sincerely for giving my little internal adventure even a moment of your attention.


sapna uppadhya said...

Very nice post.....

Jam Hsu said...

good !

Mr. Yo said...

Where are the posts! You haven't done one in forever

MrYoyothrower said...

I require more Ed. I love your blog and have shared a number of your posts over the last couple years, with many who needed to see them.