Sure, you’re more than used to January 1st missives expansively proclaiming vast positive changes, from the same “lose 50 lbs” project you actually began with 10 years ago (only today, modify the number to 75) to ridding life of those growing number of albatrosses which have taken the form of chain necklaces (…what can I say: when one raft views the apparent success of another, the ENTIRE FLOCK will come! They are MAGNETS.).

With my propensity for enjoying doomsday movies (it ALWAYS serves to make any life concerns feel petty in comparison when you see L.A. collapsing into the Pacific, or the Yellowstone caldera blowup), you’d think I’d face 2013 with a doom and gloom attitude. After all: it’s a ‘13th’ year promising the potential of bad luck from the get-go, and lots of pots of change have been long simmering on my personal fires. It’s not illogical, therefore, to assume Eruption 2013.

However, this cup is more than half-full in my book (Einstein also said it with his ‘for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction’ blahblah.) (Plus, having been born on Fri 13th, this is the last 1-13-13 b-day I’m gonna see: ergo, I AM CELEBRATIN’ the entire year!)

So you get to choose whether you’ll be skulking down the road like a Slinkie anticipating catastrophe or dancin’ down the byways feeling that no matter what, 2013 will be an AWESOME year of change.

Some examples:

1. TPG oft maintains that “life gets worse every year” as he sits in his favorite Barklounger spending hours shouting protests at FOX TV and words of affirmation towards the more liberal stations who make their news money by inciting fear amongst the populace. This is why I either change the channel to The Big Bang Theory (which concerns itself with Friendships Amongst Nerds Against All Odds), or consult my latest issue of Upbeat Times, which makes its money on featuring NO BAD NEWS. Attitude is simply a mixture of ‘within you/without you’. And letting positive stuff IN is the first step towards thinking that maybe – just maybe – the world WON’T turn to caca 2day, but may actually hold a pleasant change instead. TPG.

2. Enlightened passion. There is a fine line between delusion and enlightened passion. Whilst I don’t claim there isn’t a bit of delusion in the attitude that ‘LIFE DOESN’T SUCK’, I do claim that there IS a choice in the matter. Example: I tend to not wake up feeling that life sucks before my toe has even poked outta the covers to test the morning temperature. Ergo, when das entire foot hits the cold floor, I find myself thinking not about freezin’ my a** off in winter, but wonderous and often impossible possibilities of the unfolding morning: to wit: (a) it snowed last nite (b) I can make a snowman outside the bedroom window STARING IN with wide crazy charcoal eyes so that when TPG opens the blinds, he’d view a homicidal snowman with a shovel hell-bent on revenge lookin’ back, (c) hot chocolate awaits after (and before!) said Snow Activity and (d) it’s California. Snow melts like 2 seconds from falling. Which makes snow both eminently lovely, eminently unlikely, and vastly tolerable, in my book.

3. Laughter IS the best medicine. So when Life hands me lemons, I don’t just make lemonade. I pair it with a hearty chuckle. Cause TPG’s lemonade comes in a glass that’s not only half full (nee: “mostly empty”. And I quote.), it actually “MAY NOT BE LEMONADE AT ALL” (and I quote again), but something more insidious. Whilst I am enjoying my cool tall lemon drink, SOMEBODY’s gotten the tester kit out (…and, thoughtfully, I am not about to be the one to tell him that the old pregnancy test kit the prior renters left in the closet over 25 years ago does NOT produce a result that successfully differentiates or identifies pee from lemonade…Look at the cheerful pink stick, whydontcha? It does NOT read “Lemonade …Pee …Pregnant”.)

4. There is nearly ALWAYS a ‘win-win’ lyin’ around. Your mission (should you choose to accept it) is to go out there and FIND IT. Now, I’m not talkin’ win-win just for YOU. Keep more than one ‘win’ and you’ve crossed the line into ‘selfishland’. Nope, I’m talking something my wise Mom called “the best possible solution resulting in the least possible pain” (or, in Dianespeak, “the greatest possible joy”.) Yup – it’s there. Time to find that silver lining in the Caca Heap of Life!

5. It’s your life/YOU get to choose and pilot its course!

Oh, you think #4 doesn’t apply? Let’s use a recent (nee: yesterday) example. View my blog on The Water Heater Follies. You’d think by today I’d be PISSED at the entire scenario (…OLD heater re-installed, hot water again = yea! Another unheralded blessing of modern living – instant hot wawa!) . And part of it didn’t have to happen at all – if SOMEBODY had only done her Internet research before investing $500 and a boatload of trust in the ethics of Lowes. But soft: it coulda been WORSE. Life Lessons Learned were many, from the inherent evils of Whirlpool and Big Box Store complacency in the matter to the possibility that had Satanheater performed as usual – which was to hum away for a week before a series of epic failures marked its remaining lifespan – the return process would have been akin to peeling a toddler cleanly outta a tar pit (…ask me how I know…): i.e. – ain’t happenin’.

The fact that Satanheater chose to attempt a flame job on my house IMMEDIATELY upon installation meant that (a) he’s vastly returnable (NOBODY at EITHER customer services even argued the point!) and (b) nobody could say I had been a satisfied customer at ANY point in the experience and therefore was not due a complete refund.

So, to roundup: I learned MORE THAN I EVER WANTED TO KNOW about water heaters, installations, Whirlpool, customer service routines, Lowes, etc … and I didn’t halfta pay for the errant educational experience (well, outside of my installer’s labor, a degree of teeth-grinding during the process, and several wasted days of ‘trytryagain’…)

You can be mighty sure any future purchases over $50 will be Internet-vetted before occurring.

In conclusion (finally!!! you may say…) – for 2013, I resolve to look on/for the bright side of life. It IS there, shining away – even if it’s just a SLIVER UNDER THE DOOR. (Note: TPG guards against such slivers by STUFFING THE TOWEL UNDER THE DOOR EDGE so he can sleep…) I also resolve to look for ‘win-win’ scenarios – and make it easy for those around me to “just pick one”.

Just let the little light shine – and train your body to arise with the sun!

A little parting sunshine song from Sheryl Crow for your 2013 Mantra:

Remember: always look on the bright side of life…

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