Happy New Year, Same As The Old Year

It’s a brand new year! Sort of. Like always, this was written a week ahead of time so expect my actual reflections and thoughts in another week. This is my, uh, pre-reflections, I guess? It’s difficult to think about a new year when the old year is still hanging around and the holidays are still to come. Things don’t feel very “ending” right now, since I’ve been so busy and stressed with work that today is the first day I’ve actually conceptualized what a day in 2022 might look like.

Largely, I expect, it will be similar to the past two years. I hope there will be improvements, but I’m not confident there will be. If I had a wish list for 2022, it would include things like defunding the cops, forgiving student debt, medicare (or better) for all, prison sentences for treasonous assholes, gun reform, tax reform, political reform, an end to childhood poverty/hunger, and so on. It’s a long fucking list, let me tell you. I’d write more of it out, so you could all tell EXACTLY how I feel, but I was making myself angry thinking about how fucked up my country is. I’m writing this on the penultimate night of Candlenights, so I’m trying to preserve SOME good cheer. I have mulled cider to drink as I write this and even THAT couldn’t stop me from feeling angry about my government’s failures.

What I expect to work on, and hopefully advance, is my writing. I have a story that needs some editing, but might eventually be worth shopping around with agents. I haven’t had the time or energy to work on it lately, thanks to all of my work stress, but I’ll hopefully be back at it in the next week or two once my big work project deadline has passed. I also want to keep working on building healthy habits. This has been on my list of goals for years now, but there’s always been something new that has come up to throw a wrench into it. Family stuff in 2019, the pandemic in 2020, and then all my eye and tooth issues this past year. Despite all that, I’ve managed. I’ve avoided anything particularly self-destructive and even managed to improve my posture at my desk. Baby steps are always better than no steps.

I don’t want to tie any plans for the future to anything related to the pandemic because who knows what it will look like two weeks from now, much less two months from now. Omnicron showed up, took over, and now the world is different again. Even the vaccine might not be as much protection against the spread of COVID as it once was. Even writing this post a week ahead of time feels risky because who knows what the world will look like a week after everyone got together for the holidays.

Flexibility has been the most important skill I’ve learned this year. In 2020, I learned to spend less time focused on the future and more time focused on the present. That had some drawbacks, in some cases, but it was largely a good lesson when used correctly. This year, that shifted to flexibility. To make plans but not to depend on them. To have ideas and hopes and goals, but to keep them penciled in rather than inked. To be open to a change in direction, temporary or permanent. To keep a lot of irons in the fire so if something doesn’t work out or gets delayed, I’m not left with nothing.

I don’t think the title of this post is strictly true. I think it’s largely true, though, that things will not be significantly different from 2021. I think the broad strokes of our day-to-day lives will remain much the same since the world seems averse to drastic change for the better, but I think things will continue to improve in small ways if we can find a path to continue our efforts. I will make this place feel more like a home, my finances will recover and my position will become stronger than ever, and I feel pretty confident saying I’m only going to gain more friends at this point. All the toxic folks are gone and those who are still here are here to stay.

Anyway, I’m rambling now and I’m just gonna end this on a few final notes: Black lives matter, trans rights are human rights, eat the rich, medicare for all, vaccines are good, global warming is real, and don’t be an asshole. Happy new year, everyone.

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