Anybody else likely to bid farewell to 2018 with a sentiment akin to "Don't let the door hit you in the arse on your way out?" Me, too. Personally, it has been something of an average year, but in terms of local, national, and global trends, it has been more like a horror movie with no end in sight. Time to reflect and plot ways to better handle stress and deal with our adversaries.
Part of the problem entering 2019 is that there will not be a clean break from the problems of 2018. The federal government shutdown is likely to persist, for one thing. Closer to home, the housing development destined to go up on the land I want to see preserved as an open space, just up the street from us, will edge closer to reality. The stream where I found the only population of Filigree Skimmer dragonflies in the entire state of Colorado will be threatened by a Colorado Springs Utilities project to widen the waterway, sometime in late 2019 or maybe 2020. Developers will also press for conversion of the prairie around Jimmy Camp Creek Park and Corral Bluffs Open Space to housing and retail. Continued sprawl.
The portion of the U.S.-Mexico border wall that is already funded will begin construction (or demolition, more properly) beginning at the National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas, effectively ceding over forty acres of this preserve to Mexico. Many a sleepless night will occur as I ponder whether to engage in direct action protests there if it comes to that.
On a brighter note, I will be continuing to identify insect specimens under two contracts I have. I am exceptionally grateful for the work, and find it challenging and stimulating and gratifying in every sense of the word. I also have a new book out that I will be promoting every chance I get, hopefully benefiting entities larger than myself in the process. I have ideas for at least two more books, and need to get cracking on proposals for those that I can shop around to an agent or publishers.
I have come to excel at procrastination and distraction, and need to correct that, channeling my fearful energies into brighter things. To that end I will take steps to get back to comedy. That may merely take the form of regular attendance at the local comedy club, actually participating in open-mic nights, or even starting a "comedy clinic" for aspiring comedians. Maybe I will start cartooning again, too. That may even be the first thing before the club scene. Point is, I love to laugh and, even better, make other people laugh. My spouse may be growing tired of my brand of humor, so it may be necessary to take it to another audience, just for the sake of our marriage.
The one thing that I do manage to do with a fair degree of consistency is to write. That will not change. What I want to change is where I am writing. I need more eyes on my work. This is not as egotistical as it sounds. The more eyes the more people thinking, whether they agree with me or not. The more people offering sound and constructive criticism so I can better my writing. The more people inspired to share their stories, their ideas, their experiences. Society does not advance if we are silent. The most successful revolutions start by example, one person's resolution shared through in-person demonstration.
Maybe podcasts are in my future. Maybe guest spots on other people's podcasts. Maybe I should investigate the TED talks thing. The basic point is that I need to explore more, get out of my comfort zone. I need to exercise more. I have to quit making excuses and find a yoga class I can get to. Walk twice a day instead of once a day as I am doing currently. Learn to cook something besides a frozen dinner. That reminds me, we have two bottles of wine, one untouched for a year. I keep forgetting about that.