New Year’s Eve Afternoon

I should be working, not reflecting.

Although, on reflection, maybe the work can wait a little longer.

Driving home from the grocery store this afternoon, I realized what’s gone wrong with my existence. Over the past couple of years, except for the various health problems, my life has taken a hard right into ordinariness. Worse, I’ve allowed myself to get used to it.

There was a time when I attracted interesting people and interesting situations to myself — occasionally to my regret, but the experience was generally worth it. That doesn’t happen so much anymore. I think my vibe has changed from “hey, universe, put on a show for me!” to…”ehhh.”

That’s no longer acceptable.

13 Responses to “New Year’s Eve Afternoon”

  1. gordon Says:

    Okay, Steve… you gotta plan?

  2. Scott Koblish Says:

    Eh – don’t be so hard on yourself – Even Rocky Balboa took time off inbetween fights. I’ve found myself in a very similar situation, but honestly, there were times when I needed a break from crazy people and crazy situations and never got it, so I’m glad to have a little peace and quite now… Balance is the key…

  3. Charles Bryan Says:

    I’d try to help you out if I were more interesting, but I’ve spent a lot of time trying to make sure that I’m as boring as I can possibly be. Seriously.

    I’m pleased that passers-by increasingly seem to be experiencing short-term narcolepsy induced by my mere presence.

    It’s all part of my dedication to being the best participant ever in witness protection.

    (Actually, I know what you mean — interesting people fuel interesting characters. Just the same, don’t forget to run the occasional background check.)

  4. Fred Chamberlain Says:

    I agree 100% with the importance of “interesting people” in making life more lively, engaging and growth-filled. I also agree with the sometimes seen side effect that these interesting people are more likely to grab the perpetual steering wheel of our lives and jerking it hard to the right without warning.

  5. Joe Brusky Says:


    I coined the phrase “Shit Magnet” in my mid-20s due to the fact that when I had to use the public transportation in Columbus, Ohio after graduation, I seemed to attract a lot of “interesting” people out of nowhere.

    Grocery stores of late (20 years later) have offered the latest batch of characters to me.

    Since you mention New Year’s eve, I was out Sunday afternoon tyrying to get some grocerries and overheard two hispanic sisters discussing the size of their boobs while on the cell phone trying to get their Dad to get out of bed. As I passed, the older sister was hanging up and I jokingly told her that they both were fine.

    “But she just had a boob job, c’mon, show him!”

    Get back on the bus, take it to the grocery store, Steve!

    Joe Brusky

  6. Stephen Payne Says:

    What is it about the New Year that makes us so existential?

    How do you plan to exercise your expression, Mr. Gerber? Carpe diem, or just take a more proactive approach to your life?

  7. Fred Chamberlain Says:

    >What is it about the New Year that makes us so existential?

    Hey Stephen, you’ve been around here long enough to know that Steve doesn’t need the new year to explore existential ponderings. 😉

  8. Brian Spence Says:

    I blame the internet. Happy New Year!

  9. Steve Gerber Says:

    I think I need to put myself, physically, in more places where interesting things are likely to happen.

  10. Cory Strode Says:

    I felt the same way about a year ago, and slowly opened myself up to more of what was going on around me. It wasn’t that the world wasn’t weird, it was that I wasn’t trying to see it that way, or allowing myself to be swept up in in. I think it’s because I allowed the pose of irony to take the place of wonder at what was going on.

    Now that I’ve changed my mindset, the world is allowing me to see it’s weirdness again. Of course, there are times I don’t want to leave the HOUSE because of it, but this year, my plan is just to plunge in and see where it takes me.

  11. Fred Chamberlain Says:

    Though I many times tend to be gregarious around others and truly appreciate the wonderful variety of individuals out there, people misinterprete this to mean that I am an extrovert. Not so at all. Without my self-time, I become less than I want to be. The danger of this is that I could, and at times have, fallen into period of time when I’ve spent extended periods of time isolated. It can be a very subtle, but drastically changing experience. I’m always a better and more evolved person when I am able to find that balance.

  12. Dana moreshead Says:

    “Satiety comes of too frequent repetition; and he who will not give himself leisure to be thirsty can never find the true pleasure of drinking…”

    –  Michel de Montaigne

    Happy new year, Steve.

  13. George Hall Says:

    Sometimes a period of “ordinaryness” is a welcome change.

    Some people out there would be GLAD to see a tangible, clear moment of “ordinary”.

    Like superheroes needing a refreshing break from all the crises, etc., even ordinary humans like some time off from the extra-ordinary.

    Enjoy it, Steve.

    Or go take a look at the preview of my book on, “A Question Of Theories” to read of a character who gets too much of the extra-ordinary in his life instead of things he’d like.