lord_of_the_rings_poster-10081Every year – on the first day of the year – I watch the Lord of the Rings. I watch the whole thing, the extended edition, all the way through, start to finish. I totally immerse myself in Middle Earth, and I think about if The Lord of the Rings was real and true, and if I was an actual person in that real and true story – who would I be? who have I been? and most importantly who do I want to be?

I’ve blogged this before (Gandalf Changed My Life) – but last year I didn’t talk about it at all. Which I find interesting. And because of that, I’m not entirely sure what my thoughts were – I do remember that I was pretty damn sure that I was a miserable failure at “being Aragorn.” And since I’d failed time and again in my quest to personify the coolest character in the trilogy, I decided to try something totally different.

I decided that I’d give “being Frodo” a go. I had this idea that I would spend the year “taking the ring to Mordor.” The ring being a metaphor for my sugar and crap food addiction. The idea being that how could I ever hope to achieve Aragorn if I couldn’t even defeat the craving for a cookie.

My daughter helped out by giving me a ring… which was really interesting because it did periodically just fall off my finger and try to get itself lost. And I came to really love it… and now that it’s the last day of the year I had to give it back – and I’m missing it quite a bit… my precious…

And no! I did not succeed with Frodo either. Which I think has got to be Sam’s fault and not mine – because we all know that Frodo would never have made it all the way to Mount Doom without Sam – and I didn’t have a Sam, or a Merry or a Pippin. I didn’t have Aragorn, Elrond, Arwyn, or even Gandalph… I was all alone in the dark woods with Grima Wormtongue and Gollum! Both of whom stuck to me like glue for the entire year. So, you can see that my failure to get the ring to Mordor was totally NOT MY FAULT.

frodo-and-the-ring

Which brought me to the conclusion that it also wasn’t my fault that I couldn’t produce a credible Aragorn persona. Who would Aragorn be if he didn’t have Arwyn, Elrond, and Gandalf? What would he do if he didn’t have a fellowship to lead? Or a destiny to fulfill? I think he’d be sitting around eating cookies and talking to Grima Wormtongue… that’s what I think.

Ok… maybe not… but I’m just saying…

So, this year, I’m going to try something a little more practical. Unless I change my mind after my LOTR marathon tomorrow, my plan is this:

strider

I’m going to be a Ranger. More like Strider than Aragorn. Lurking in the shadows, looking dark and dangerous, protecting the shire – but doing it alone.

Who are the hobbits I protect? My kids… What is the shire? My property… my little piece of the planet. Is there an Arwyn? No, sadly she’s gone to the Grey Havens, hence the lurking about in shadows, and long bouts of alone time. Is there a Frodo and a One Ring? Not my problem. That’s for Aragorn aka Strider to worry about … Me? I’m just a mysterious, unknown Ranger. Instead of taking Frodo and the gang to Rivendale – I take James to MMA practice and Whisky Tango. What about Orcs and Trolls? Some of the dogs I bathe at work fit the bill and some of the people too… And the Nazgul? well, Bank of America comes to mind, they’re probably going to try to sue me – so there’s that looming in the horizon…

Anyway I like it. Self sufficient. Capable. Strong. Dependable in a pinch but not necessarily nice about it. Definitely I’ve got your back. Not afraid of the dark, or dark places, graveyards, dark magick, or difficult questions. That’s who I’m going to strive to be in the new year.

And a ring…
I need a ring…
I miss my precious…
my preciousss…

But wait! Maybe I did succeed after all… because if I remember correctly, Frodo did NOT throw the ring into the fires of Mount Doom. He changed his mind at the last minute – and it was Gollum who actually (and inadvertantly) saved middle earth. Had it been up to Frodo, the outcome would have been way different…. So… clearly last year’s self improvement project was doomed from the start!

By the way: This post was migrated from my blogger blog (shirleytwofeathers.blogspot.com) and was first published on 12/31/11.

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