So, it's that time of the year once more - when we look back at the year gone by and wonder what the everloving fuck just happened. It's our second time doing this - after the shitshow that was 2020. Third, if you count 2016. And you'd think you'd get used to it by now, but no. What with the sheer variety of horrors these years have chucked at us with gay abandon, it's really quite difficult to get used to any of it. Truly, variety IS the spice of life. Which spice? Well, it is the bird's eye chilli, that you've got into your eye and are now screaming bloody murder, because oh god, THE FUCKING PAIN.
Personally, this was a deeply mixed bag year for me. But you've heard enough about it in my previous blog posts, and if you've signed up for my mailing list, then read about it in the convenience of your inbox. So this is not about me bemoaning my frequently-dislocated little toe, or my brush with Covid, or even celebrating the release of my third book Fatal Mistakes, available everywhere books are sold.
No, this is about David Letterman.
Specifically, about his moving interview with American singer-songwriter Warren Zevon. I don't know much about Zevon or his music. What I do know is that when Zevon appeared on this interview, he had just been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. And when asked what he knew about life and death, his reply, paraphrased, was "Enjoy every sandwich."
I take it to mean 'enjoy the mundane'. Oh, the sentiment has been expressed before in many ways. Stop and smell the flowers is one, though how one can achieve that in Mumbai is anyone's guess. The point is, the truth in Zevon's words is startling. Because, honestly speaking, life has very few big joys to offer us. Sometimes when it does dole out a big one, it is often counterbalanced by a big loss or sorrow. Sure, we take those in our stride, to the best of our capability. But if we wait to celebrate or feel grateful for, only for those big moments of happiness, we lose out on the hundred tiny triumphs our days are filled with.
The American Constitution talks about the pursuit of happiness, and it is a pursuit we are all engaged in, day in and day out. But if that pursuit is for the big joys in life, then we are missing out on the smaller joys. A good cup of coffee with a friend. A heartfelt hug from a child. Just a nice, long stretch that doesn't throw out your back (that one's specific to those who've crossed 40, but you know what I mean). We none of us know how long we have on this earth and if the last two years have proven anything, it is that we genuinely have no idea what googlies the future will throw at us.
So as we leave 2021 behind, this is my wish for you, and for all of us, really:
May 2022 be the year we all learn to enjoy every sandwich. Literally, and figuratively.