Saturday, January 1, 2011

Cheers To A New Year

Standing in the main lobby of South Beach's Lincoln Road movie theater, watching the dense crowd of people exiting a movie and coming towards me like a herd of colorful cattle. I stand in the middle to get the best seat at this parade. As colorful as Miami is, I never seem to get bored with its diversity. Its the quintessential city to people-watch.

I look to my left and observe an abundantly plump woman plopped on a bench with her arms lifelessly hanging in front of her. I imagine her naked and envision a Big Mac with arms. I get whiffs of conversations as they walk by and swirl around me. They're either complaining about the movie or praising it, discussing the stresses of relationships or of surviving in this difficult economy.

I pause to think about the second terrible year all these people and I have just suffered through and I snap out of it, cracking a grin at the sight of a frizzy, red-haired, chic old lady with black tights and an oversized, bedazzled sweater sashays by, looking like a Liza Minelli wanna-be. Two Latinas conga-by either side of me, oozing sexiness in skintight miniskirts, tall leather black boots, curves like a manatee and perfume like a ripe mango spritzed with jasmine. A couple of skinny, yamaka-wearing, pimple-faced, Jewish boys walk by whispering to each other. A Jaguar-stud with his metrosexual look and Ferragamo loafers checks out the giraffe-tall models walking in front of him while his beautiful wife is on his arm, not noticing a thing. A couple of cute, slender gay boys on their first date, being coyly flirtatious with each other while ordering popcorn and bottled water (Coke is so 2005). I wish for a moment I was on a date then quickly realize I'm perfectly content with my bachelor status. I turn and notice a little boy feistily pulling his hand out and away from his mother's grasp, frustrated, he looks out the window wishing time would pass faster so he could be a grown up already.

The one unifying aspect of 2010 is that everyone in every nation on the planet all know too well how challenging these last couple of years have been. At least now, we can be confident in knowing that we survived this one.

The end of the year is the time to brush off the nastiness and recharge to stand tall again with a renewed effort to make old or new dreams a reality. It's up to us how we will look at the things that will happen to us in the year ahead. Do we look at them as tragic disasters or as opportunities to finally rid this planet of its old, cantankerous and unsustainable systems? While we can't change the bad things that happen, we can change the way we look at them. I promise myself to move forward into the new year with more consideration and mindfulness at every step. I silently pray that this year's challenges nudge us all closer to connecting to our own peace of mind so that we may share that peace with whoever we encounter along our journeys and may that peace spread as virally as a new video on YouTube.

My friend finally frees himself from the long line and scores our munchies from the snackbar. We walk into Tron 3D and towards a new year with oodles of chances for something good or at least something better than last year to happen to us.