New Year’s Eve, 2018.
Well this is the day where everyone lays it all out, counts their chips, and looks at how they did in the current year of our Lord. “How’d I do? Did I live up to those resolutions from last year? Was I successful enough? Creative enough? Did I meet new people and make new memories? Did I give those around me enough support and encouragement? Did I start that novel I’ve been talking about writing for years?” You can fill in those any way you’d like.
I’m sure we all have similar internal dialogues that would go something like that; the looking back and dissecting every move we made and every idea or midnight resolution we backpedaled on. Being human means making promises we can’t keep, or promises we decide to put on the back burner till further notice. We are a sea scroll of disappointments, false narratives, and overshots the likes of which no other life form has ever seen.
But you know what? That’s okay.
Sure we end each year with grand pronouncements and a mixed bag of resolutions we may or (probably) will not keep, but in that moment I truly feel we actually mean it. We all want to be healthier, more successful, and nicer to others around us. We all want to step out of our comfort zone and be that person we think we can be. I guess as far as symbolism goes, the night before the new year begins seems like as good a time as any to make those personal promises. Just don’t be so hard on yourself when you don’t hit all your goals. Or maybe just take baby steps towards a better you. Or better yet, forget the resolutions and just take it one day at a time. Don’t give that friend or family member that loves to say “I told you so” any more fodder than they already have(I think they could use some resolutions of their own.)
My point is, expectations are a bitch. If you want to do something for yourself in the coming year just do it. No major midnight proclamations are needed. Just take the bull by the horns and go for it. And you know what? If you don’t hit the mark by December 31st, 2019 then that’s between you and your maker. Go into the new year with your eyes wide open, head and heart fully engaged, and make the most of it.
There, that’s my two cents.
As far as 2018 went, it was a far better year than 2017 for me personally. As a writer, musician, and as an engaged human being I felt more involved in the world around me. After the angst and divisiveness of the political climate that was 2017 I feel I’ve turned a corner in that regard. I’ve come to the realization that people made choices politically from a very personal place inside them. Those choices don’t define who they are, and I know that a lot of them feel duped because of those decisions. Not just from the right, but from the left. I want to see and understand someone’s choices before I judge them because those simply weren’t my choices. I went into 2018 trying not to be judgemental in that regard. We’re being fed narratives by the media, as opposed to just the news. Read as much as you can, from several angles and mindsets, before rushing to condemnation. If you sit down and talk with someone you may differ with politically, you may just realize you are far more alike than not alike. Food for thought.
I feel that I’ve really come into my own as a writer this year. I’ve got to talk with so many artists this year, and have gotten to hear so much new music that’s opened my head up to new sounds and ideas. I feel this is the right path for me. I’m as engaged with music now than I’ve ever been and I hope 2019 is more of that.
I’ve also really opened myself up to writing more about me. Stories of my childhood and experiences I’ve had as a Midwestern youth and adult. Being a husband, a parent, and a fellow human being. I want to continue writing in that direction as well. Maybe even put together a collection of essays. Who knows?
As a musician, I’ve slowed down quite a bit over the last few years. I haven’t stopped, though. In fact, I’ve been writing and recording music quite a bit in the last couple weeks. I put out an album of instrumentals just a couple weeks ago called Mood Swings, and I’m on my way to finishing another. This one is quite a bit different. There’s a theme. I found a box of old photos of my wife’s older brothers. Old black and whites from the early-to-mid 60s that inspired me enough to start writing with them in mind. We’ll see where it goes. Maybe nowhere, but I’m off to a good start at least.
I had a pretty good year, 2018. I’m hoping to continue that trend in 2019(you hear me, 2019??) All we can do is try our best. Make some goals and try to reach them. No midnight proclamations required. Just do it.
Thanks for being a part of my year here at Complex Distractions. Hope to see you around in 2019.