2014: A year in search of a simile

The new year lies ahead of you like a book, and you think to yourself, “365 pages! Of small print? I’m never going to get through all that. I’m only seven pages in and so far it’s mostly description. When’s something going to happen?” But you have no choice but to read this book because there’ll be a test at the end. And, no, you cannot skip to the last page to see how it all turns out. And now you’ve taken the book into the bath with you and, just when it seemed like there was going to be no action whatsoever, something shocking happens, like someone barging in on you in the bath. It’s Pope Francis! And he’s got a chainsaw! And look: you’ve gone and dropped the book in the bath. So now your year is all wrinkled and hard to handle. Way to go.

Or maybe the year ahead is like a journey. As journeys go, it’s a relatively close one. Nonetheless, you better pack snacks because we are not stopping. The thing is, we don’t know where this journey is taking us, which is crazy and impulsive when you think about it, and when you do think about it, you think back to that old boyfriend or girlfriend who complained that you weren’t a risk taker, that you played it too safe, that you looked ridiculous in that hat, and now you think, “Take that, ol’ ex of mine! I’m on a journey of unknown destination, though probably just a couple of times around the block and straight home because I have work tomorrow.” Make sure to wear your seatbelt.

Or perhaps the year ahead is like a Journey song. You know the one. You’ve heard it over and over. Everywhere you go you hear that song.  And you think to yourself, “I can’t handle it if that’s the only song I’m going to hear this year, and is it really appropriate for a funeral?” After all, you’re just a small town girl living in a lonely world. You took the midnight train to anywhere but still you couldn’t get away from that song. And yet, you have to admit, you kind of like it. You know all the lyrics, and it fills you with a sense of nostalgic comfort, even if it does get stuck in your head and go on and on and on and on. In 2014, don’t stop “Don’t Stop Believing.’”

Scratch that. The year is nothing like a Journey song. Get a grip.

The year ahead may, however, be like a recipe. You start off with only the freshest ingredients… or whatever’s leftover in your fridge; it all comes down to your standards, really. Planning and preparation are key, as are one or three glasses of wine. You take a heaping of positive energy, mix in some wisdom and half a pound of love. Clearly you don’t need any sugar because this is already syrupy enough. But after another glass of wine, you find yourself stirring in a trifling of mendacity and a soupcon of pretentiousness. Next thing you know you’re adding a dash of disappointment and a smattering of hard lessons. Garnish with bitter tears. More wine? Really? Now look what you’ve done: you’ve gone and let your year burn on the stove. Great. Maybe 2014 is the year you finally get some help. And some cooking lessons.

This is your year. This is your year on radiation.

This is your year. This is your year on radiation.

Or maybe the year ahead is like a 1950s Japanese movie monster, spawned from the radioactive waste of the previous year, rampaging through January and February, laying waste to March through June, celebrating a very special anniversary with family and friends in July, warding off countless personal attacks in August through November, then completely bombed in December. You kind of feel sorry for the year in the end.

Actually, the year lies ahead like a blog post; it feels like it will never end, but don’t worry, it does.


A version of this post originally aired on CBC Radio’s “Breakaway” on January 7, 2014.


About rossmurray1

I'm Canadian so I pronounce it "Aboot." No, I don't! I don't know any Canadian who says "aboot." Damnable lies! But I do know this Canadian is all about humour (with a U) and satire. Come by. I don't bite, or as we Canadians say, "beet."
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24 Responses to 2014: A year in search of a simile

  1. goldfish says:

    There is no “south Detroit” as Journey would have you believe. South Detroit is actually Canada. Geography is all upside down over there.

  2. I hope 2014 is like a murder mystery, but with less murder and more french toast. A french toast mystery. Mmmmm, I’ll have that.

  3. byebyebeer says:

    If only the year ahead were like one of your blog posts – a real treat!

  4. Letizia says:

    I love the idea of the year as a book. It makes me think of the past year and I wonder what were the chapters, themes, etc. Happy first week of the new year, Ross; hope it’s treating you well so far!

  5. Laura Lynn says:

    The year as a rampaging movie monster…yeah, that was 2013. I’m kind of hoping that 2014 will prove to be more like a book. A really long book with lots of romance, happy surprises, improbable adventures that all end well and some good recipes- maybe a fabulous hat. And I wish you the same. RAWR! No more Japanese movie monsters please and thank you.

  6. shalilah2002 says:

    I’ll just get through this year by knowing and believing that something good is going to happen our of all the bad things that I read in the newspaper everyday.

  7. List of X says:

    Maybe this year is like a movie, so that when it ends, we all say, “well… the book was better.”

  8. javaj240 says:

    We are big fans of silly hats here at the hovel — we even put them on the cat. I know. I know. We need a more interesting hobby. Nevertheless, I have declared (mostly to myself up to now) that 2014 will be the “year of the hat” — I may be watching a little too much Masterpiece Theater, but there you have it: “The Year of the Hat”.

  9. mollytopia says:

    I can’t tell if I’m worried now because this could totally happen, or if I just need to get out of the house for a minute. Sigh. I love your blog. Even when it makes me question an entire year, that hasn’t even happened yet. Happy 2014 anyway!

  10. Nic says:

    OMG the “Don’t Stop Believin'” paragraph is everything.

  11. Snoring Dog Studio says:

    I want 2014 to be like dark chocolate – tasty and so good for me. Great writing, Ross!

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