Happy New Year from Kansas City! It's been quite a year and I feel like I'm in a dealership about to trade in 2018 and drive off the lot in a new year.
I'm off to the confessional, won't you join me?
Friends, I'd like to say that I'm excited about the new year, but anxious may be more accurate. As I enter the new year with my trade-in, sadly there is no warranty. What I am offered is hope and in all my years I've found that hope brings expectations and sometimes pleasant surprises and other times disappointment. This year I am choosing to tie my hope to behavior. That being said, I feel I have some stake in the outcome and that gives me a slice of control. Maybe not of the whole year but the rather hopes and dreams. This is the best any of us can do.
I confess that 2018 was defined by the frustration all around us - all of us. One of the things I am going to do in 2019 is to lessen the chaos around me that distracts and drags me down. No, I'm not turning off the news. Burying my head in the sand makes me an irresponsible citizen and voter. But I intend to avoid the crap that none of us need. What we engage in is a choice we make. I want to make better choices.
I saw a graphic that said something like this: We have 365 pages this year to write our new life story. That made me realize several things. One, urgency. If we don't put anything on a page, that's a lost day. I can't write today's page tomorrow. It also means I am responsible for my own story, my own year. Yes, I have to work with what the world throws at me, but that is only part of the story. What I do with my resources, time, events, people are my responsibility. Choose well. Kevin Larimer, the editor-in-chief of Poets & Writers said something in his note in the newest edition that resonated with me. He spoke of deeper gratitude for the idea of production that isn't entirely based on what is put on the page and more on how we honor those moments of living off the page.
One thing I am going to do this year is to guard and protect the time I allocate for writing and reading.
I hope that 2019 brings us lots of change. America is an idea and not just a physical country on a continent. America is based on democracy and certain rights and liberties. All of us need to hold up the vales connected to our founding documents and defend them against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Just being on this continent is not enough. We must preserve those values that were the basis of what makes us great, and remember this nation is a melting pot for the world. This is our greatest natural resource.
Wishing you all realized hope, health and love throughout the year.