My personal mantra is one I shameless appropriated from the title
of a fine book by Andrew Vachss on the potential of parenting. In
a sense, I am my own parent and the best advice I can give myself
is to treat each new year, each new day, as another blessed chance
to get it right.
For me, getting it right means that I do my work with clean heart
and hands. That I show my love for those I love and do whatever I
can for them. That I try to educate, entertain and help my fellow
travelers on our life journeys. That I recognize my limits, both
physical and financial, and don’t beat myself up when I just can’t
do everything I’d like to do.
For me, a day when I’ve gotten it right is a day when I have done
the work I planned for the day and finish it early enough to spend
a few hours with my family and friends. It’s a day when I’ve given
someone a laugh or a smile, shared information that helped them in
some way, even if it’s only to look at the world in a more sane and
humane way. It’s a day when I’ve been able to do something for a
friend or even a stranger.
Getting it right doesn’t mean rolling over to avoid conflict. When
I see idiocy and injustice, I’ll fight it to the best of my meager
abilities. I wear the disparagement and the rage of those who hate
me for my views like fucking medals of honor. I mock them at will
for their inability to lay a glove on me, especially when they do
their “fighting” under anonymity or pseudonym. I have no idea what
they see when they look in the mirror. When I look in the mirror,
I see a man who has earned every one of his 62 years and who does
not flinch from the image he sees.
That angry paragraph not withstanding, I am amazingly happy as we
commence 2014. I have my family and friends. I have my writing.
I have an audience for my writing. I have a comfortable if modest
lifestyle. I’m in pretty good health, both physically and mentally.
I get the bear more often than the bear gets me.
Looking back at 2013, it was a terrific year for me. I watched my
children continue to grow into the kind of adults we need in this
country and world. I reconnected with old friends and I made many
new ones. I figured out who I’ve been and who I want to be, which
is, of course, an ongoing process if one does it right. I think I
show a lot of potential.
Thanks to Comic-Con International, I was able to show my family the
best part of my four decades in comics. They got to witness that
my life in comics is far more than the seemingly unending struggles
they have seen. They got to see the friends I made along the way
and the readers who appreciate my work. They even got to hold my
Inkpot award, which I plan to be buried with when I die about fifty
years from now or - better plan - incorporated into the new robot
body that will keep me going for centuries to come. I don’t plan
on going anywhere until we get those flying cars and jet packs that
we were promised in the comic books and science fiction stories of
my youth. I’m getting silly, aren’t I?
When it comes to columns and blogs, a new year brings with it the
usual inevitable columns and blogs summarizing the previous year,
predicting what will happen in the coming year and making a bunch
of resolutions for the coming year. Contrary so-and-so that I am,
I’m not going to do any of those.
What I will do is wish my family and friends all the best in 2014.
I’m excited about what lies ahead for me and I hope that’s true for
all of you as well.
We all have another chance to get it right.
© 2014 Tony Isabella