Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Reset Button

I just opened my new calendar from the National Parks Conservation Association, the one with the grizzly on the front. I've been looking forward to this since last October, when my 2011 calendar started looking pretty sorry. It was varicosely veined with blue ink, and the scribbled dates pointed to past hopes and good intentions, many of which were never fulfilled. The Writer's Place events I missed because I was too busy or lazy. The booster club and PTA meetings I thought I might attend --this time for real!--but never did. Some of the reminders are for things I'd rather forget: dentist appointments and bills that were due. Deadlines that cast a pall on my life, now reduced to blurry smears.

I like how clean and blank my new calendar is, however, it carries with it a certain weight. All those unfilled pages, resembling a clean slate, and the implication that all that blankness should inspire me to throw off my old molted self and leap into some new skin that is waiting. But it's the calendar that has been switched out, not me. It's the sun that has roamed the cosmos, not me. I am still dragging through gravity with the same vices and follies. Reform thyself not, from superstition or compulsion. Someone wise must have said it. No, I will not make any new year's resolutions.  But I wouldn't mind it if someone could push "reset".

I love reset buttons. For example, that little nub of a button on the bottom of the garbage disposal--it is a blessed friend when your garbage disposal stops working.* I learned this when I was divorced and living alone with the girls in my own rental house. This button is out of sight, and is easily forgotten. When the garbage disposal stalled at Thanksgiving, it was me who broke through the crowd of Wilders, all hovering over the sink, to shout, "Look for the reset button! There is always a reset button!!"

Oh, if only there always was.

*Of course sometimes there is more to it ---like, to get the disposal to work again it's not enough just to press the button, you also have to look for that funny wrench and use it to turn the blades a few times. But just pushing "reset" is enough when I need to get my blowdryer working again.


  1. you also may have to stick your hand down in there where it's oogie and pull out something disgusting or a chewed up spoon.

    btw, i share your love of blank calendars! wheee!

  2. Too true, about the oogie stuff. Good point.