New Year, New Me. Right?
Not really, though.
Nothing much changed for me in 2019. I’m still married to the same perfect woman, who still enchants me with every breath and every glance; I’m still pet-parent to the same two dogs, the same tortoise, and the same (occasionally obnoxious) cockatiel; I’m still teaching at the same school — which means I have many of the same students — and still writing, still working on the same time-traveling Irish pirate story, still not writing enough and still mad at myself about it.
I’m still upset about the state of the world, still ambivalent about what I should be doing about it beyond what I already do.
And of course, I still hate Trump.
There are some changes. My wife has made big changes, which of course affect me, mainly by making me proud: I am enormously, heart-shakingly proud of her strength, I am proud of her incredible talent and imagination, I am proud of the world that it has continued to become more aware of how amazing my wife is — and it is finally starting to reward her for her never-ceasing efforts.
We moved into a new house, which is smaller and cheaper than the last; it’s been nice to ease the financial burden, and it’s showed us how much room we actually need (More than this place, less than the last), and that, after seven residences in the last six years, we would really like to set down roots and own a home again. Though I am wary of the potential coming economic crash: last time, we bought a house just before the economy burst into flames; I’d like to be a little more careful and intentional this time. So maybe that’s new.
I did manage to sell my books, though still not to a publisher nor an agent; I sold them directly, at the Tucson Festival of Books. Not the vision of authorial success I once had, but nonetheless: standing behind a table and talking to people about my book, and watching them agree to buy it and hand over money, was an extraordinary feeling, one I hope to repeat this year. And I did start sending out queries again, because my wife has shown me, as she always does, that artists don’t give up. Ever.
I was a better friend this past year than I have been in a long time; I grew closer to the people whose company I enjoy and whose support I rely on, and I’m happy about that.
And, of course, I’m one year closer to dying, whenever that may happen; but I still don’t care. Death comes for all of us, and I see no reason to spend any time watching it come. I hope, and I try to behave so that I will welcome it when it comes and pass away with no regrets; but if that doesn’t happen, if it comes too quickly or I have done the wrong things, still I would rather have lived than not have lived at all; still I am happy and grateful for the time I have had, the memories I have created (and even the ones I have forgotten), the people I have known, and the deeds I have done.
I don’t have wisdom to share: if anything, this year has taught me more than most years about how naive and ignorant I still am. I am writing this on a whim, and trying to decide if I should continue whimming on this blog for this coming year. I dunno. It’s good for me to write, but I have to write the third book in my pirate trilogy, and I want to get it done ASAP, because I have several more ideas I want to pursue — but first, I have to finish a story, something I still struggle with. I have no idea if this blog is good for people to read. I hope so. I hope this is a good thing. I intend to continue doing the same good things into this next year, hopefully make some good changes, hopefully continue to learn and grow.
One thing is for damn sure: I’m going to put in time and effort to make sure that Donald Trump is voted out of office in November. So I warn you now, this blog will likely become much more political over the coming eleven months. It will probably get agitating to those who read this regularly, but I don’t care (No, I do care: and I’m sorry. But also, I’m going to do it anyway.). We all need to be agitated, because the alternative is complacent: and that’s how we got into this mess in the first place.
I wish you all, and myself, a wonderful new year, full of hopes and fulfillments. Let’s make this one a good one.