Goodbye to 2017, and hello to 2018. Caution: navel gazing ahead.
I would so enjoy a romp through the political news and accomplishment of 2017. That is, if there were any political news or accomplishment to enjoy. That we are still here to enjoy each other and the earth despite the politics of our day might be cause enough for mirth. Coal in the stocking anyone?
Rather than politics then, how about some planetary reminiscing. We did have a total eclipse across the U.S. in 2017. It was very cool, and enjoyed by an enormous number. If you missed it, there will be others. But these are rare enough that unless you want to travel the globe to witness one you won’t get too many chances.
We also had a nasty hurricane season here in the U.S. While I didn’t get to revel in flood recovery, mangled infrastructure, or hanging with the good people at FEMA, I did get to enjoy a harvest season interrupted by frequent rains – the tattered remnants of horrible storms. The difficulties associated with these storms… felt here – roughly 900 miles from landfall – testify to their strength.
Wildfires. California burning. Chestnuts roasting on an open fire. These are too remote for me personally. But one son lives in LA… he and his wife are right down the road from the Thomas and the Creek fires – each still smoldering after nearly a month.
What might the planet herself think of all this? Some storm surge, a little smoke here and there, fault lines adjusting, volcanos erupting… all parts of the process. One more trip around the sun. She’s done this many billions of times, might she have slept through it this last pass? What might she have in store for us in the next revolution?
The new year is often regarded as a clean slate; something yet despoiled; a canvass awaiting our smudges. We are invited to make resolutions, adjustments to our behavior, ambitions for self-betterment. Making resolutions is one thing. Keeping them another. Pressed to make a few for 2018 I suppose I might… like lose some weight, my heart should be on board with that one. There are plenty of areas where I would benefit from ambitious self-improvement. Sadly, none are simple little one-offs (well, I can think of one… I could use a haircut). Most of the resolutions I should tackle need to be kept up over time. Rats. Wait – here’s a thought. Over the last several decades I have managed to make a subtle improvement here or there over my younger self. If I resolve to keep up the trend, and not allow any backsliding… that could serve. Fewer speeding tickets (had zero in 2017… so ‘fewer’ will need to be taken on a longer baseline); more reading (2017 was not too bad, 2018 has a bar to reach); more helpfulness. That last one, unfortunately, hasn’t such a high bar.
Less than a dozen hours remain before 2018 starts for me. Bring it!
The human navel side of the featured image above was lifted from an interesting blog post from December of last year. A psychologist’s ruminations on psychological research done almost exclusively on White college students… and whether that reflects the realities of other groups. It can be found here:
I thought of adding a battleship image as well… but decided against it. Punning in 2018 won’t stop, but perhaps will be employed more judiciously?