End of Year Recap- 2017 “OMG WHY IS EVERYTHING ON FIRE?” Edition

31 12 2017

Weather: Winter has come, full-throated and persistent, and it’s been snowing on and off for a bloody week now. Sun’s out today, but there will be more  soon. Temps in the low teens, windchills in the “OMG WHY DO I LIVE WHERE MY FACE HURTS”degrees.

So, it’s that time of year again, to poke my head back into the blogosphere and see if I can manage to sum up the experiences of the past 12 months.

This year is gonna be a difficult one to sum up. I have only blogged a handful of times, and because I tanked NaNoWriMo this year- the brain on the 2017 News Cycle is a burnt-out, noncreative brain- there hasn’t been much to relate.

After my last blog post about my stupid 50 year old body starting to sabotage me, I had an entirely new health related setback. In late July I experienced an anxiety attack so severe, I honestly thought I was having cardiac issues and ended up with 2 weeks of medical tests and doctor visits and ultimately a run to the emergency room for EKGs and monitoring. I lost something like 8 lbs in as many days from not being able to eat. Here’s the rub- I’ve always had mild panic attacks now and then, but this was like a category 5 storm instead of the mild tempests I’d experienced before. The upside, if you can call it that, was that I got so many tests run, that I know that many of my organs are in good shape. The downside was getting the medical bills.

All in all the experience was a wake up call to start managing my stress better and start doing a lot more self-care.

The only other thing that happened of significance this year was we moved our studio home from the Box Factory. Although it was primarily a financial decision, there was a time management component too. We were spending less time at the studio, partially due to increased day job commitments, but also there was an admittedly big bit of laziness on our part. We have not abandoned our art making, but we have let petty inconveniences get in the way. And that just points to our wavering commitments to creative work.

Financially we are ending the year in a much better place. I’ll talk more about that in my New Year post. (And I have a lot more positive things to talk about there, naturally)

Why was this year so…un-notable? Well, mostly because the world, and our country in specific, made some fairly awful choices and some very ugly and stupid things crept out of the woodwork in the process. Things that we should have taken a stronger moral stance on a while ago were emboldened by thinly veiled encouragement from leadership. (I only use that term  loosely, since we don’t have leaders, we only seem to have opportunists and thin skinned narcissists at the helm these days. There are good people trying to keep the ship of state off the rocks, but there have been a lot of near misses and the vessel is damaged.)

My hope for our nation is that the people, good people who are in the majority, regardless of political leaning, will shake off the apathy that we’ve all been wearing for far too long and push back against this gang of sycophantic morons & get things back on track.  As a people, we have always shown that we will stand up for our communities and for those who are in need when crises arise, and will fight against those who would seek to denigrate, harm or otherwise diminish the basic decency that is the core of this country. I would love to see more people stand up with zero tolerance of bigotry, sexism, abuse and selfish greed,  to re-establish our support for our neighbors and for equality for all our citizens, to help those who are hungry and give a hand up for those who have stumbled. I’d love to see compassion and empathy return, and for blame and excuses to make a swift and fiery exit.  Instead of complaining about who’s fault this mess is, how about we just try and fix it? Get people in power who are willing to try? Stop worrying about who’s the perfect candidate and start supporting people who want to work for the greater good.  If you’re disillusioned by the national groups, maybe send your support to the local groups or directly to candidates you support.

I guess I’m weary of all the petty fighting and finger pointing. We can easily find out what people have voted for, and we can easily see what kind of legislation is getting passed. Make your decisions based on actions, not rumors or aspersions.

I guess the big question to answer at the end of this garbage fire of a year is what are you going to do about it? If you’re answer  is just to sit on the sidelines and bitch about the state of things, or write long think pieces on re-litigating past grievances? I’m probably just going to ignore you. Too many dead horses have taken a beating this year. Let’s figure out a solution or at least try to encourage people to fix things.  Easiest way to punish people who do wrong? Vote them out.  Oh and and stop wasting time and energy trying to convince people who have zero interest in wanting to see things as they are. Some people are so invested in their view of the world, they would rather go down with the ship rather than grab at a life preserver. You can’t save everyone.

On a bit more positive note, I have discovered new teachers this year. Some have re-lit my artistic fire, some have renewed my spiritual path, some have made me look at things with a new perspective and others have humbled me by showing me that I am making excuses instead of working. The list is too long to relate here, but suffice it to say, I have a lot of things that will be pared away next year and my focus is becoming much more acute. It’s less about making goals and more about creating space and carving time out to make room for things to happen.

Two words have come to the forefront for 2018: Minimalism and  Evolution. I will flesh that out in my next post. But you can probably tell there is an equal amount of cutting back and building out that will be happening.

Also, in the past few months especially, I’ve realized that this year has put me in the passenger seat and I’m going to be reclaiming the steering wheel with a certain amount of determination and force, if necessary. Letting myself get overwhelmed led to health issues and a certain amount of apathy.  I despise myself a bit for allowing that to happen. The husbeast and I have had several long talks at the dinner table about what things need to change for both of us. I’m lucky I have a life partner who is both honest and who listens, because sometimes you need to hear some harsh truths and speak some tough love to fix your path. We are both committed to each other’s contentment, but we also know that sometimes, we can take some things for granted and bad behavior can follow. The good news is that we always end these discussions on a positive note and 2018 is looking better for that.

So to wrap up this rambling bit of looking back, I just want to state that I am thankful for the people in my life, for their courage, their anger and their compassion. My circles of family and friends always seem to intersect and overlap, but their input is always insightful and their humor is always well timed.

So I think it’s time to pack 2017 in a box and shoot it into the sun, giving it the fiery demise it deserves.

Here’s hoping we can make a change in 2018, for the better. Let’s be better citizens, better neighbors, better HUMANS. I’m going to do my best on all three counts, and so should you.

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One response

31 12 2017
hellenrees

I wish you were mirrored onto DW, I very rarely make it over here and I miss reading you and O.

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