Sunday, January 2, 2011

And A Year Begins Again

Hello, everyone.

Happy New Year!

I'm still working on whether or not I should have a New Year's Resolution this time around. The last time I had one, and I carried it out, was in 2004. I resolved to be less of a bystander in politics - I was going to go out there and become involved. It ended badly. (Although I did have the chance to speak, face to face, with both of our Senators, for the low, low, price of $250. Which was, really, a bargain.) It turns out that there is a reason why so few people are active in one party or the other. One is drunk on a constant stream of whine, and the other throws back Haterade like it was water. And no matter which side you happen to be on, it's hard to escape the idea that they're trying to convince you to drink the Kool-aid*.

Of course, maybe I'm better off simply not playing the New Year's Resolution game. It's hardly been shown to be a good model for improving one's life. But I can see the appeal. If we're going to make an arbitrary date in the beginning of Winter the start of a new year (had it been left up to me, I would have chosen the Spring Equinox), it makes as good a marker as any from which to measure progress. And there is a part of me that wants to do something different this year. I've been doing too many things that haven't been working in the way that I want them to. Time to give it a rest, and find a different path.

Although one thing I want to do this year, which I know is going to get me into trouble (because I never learn), is find a Cause. I've added a link to my list of weblogs for Photography is Not A Crime, over on Pixiq. But I like to take pictures, so it makes a certain amount of sense that I'd be in favor of not having Big Brother looking to have me re-educated every time I haul out my Nikon. So I've been feeling an itch to find a cause to support that has nothing to do with me. And I mean really support - as in actively do something to advance, and not just pretend that Awareness equals Action - slacktivism won't get anything done. Something that doesn't directly benefit me, my friends or my family. This one, I know, is going to be tricky - activists give me a pain. Which, perhaps, is the single best reason for doing it. The fact that someone gets on your last nerve doesn't mean that what they're doing isn't important. I've also never really been much of an activist; passion and I aren't exactly tight. Maybe it's time I worked to change that.

Or maybe I'll just work to make it though another year with my sanity intact and my cynicism in check. That always turns out to be more work than it has any right to be.

As for you, enjoy it. Years are never as long as they're supposed to be. If you're going to cram in all the good times, good works and just plain good life that you're entitled to before the end of 2011, you'd better get started.

* Yes, I know it wasn't actually Kool-aid specifically that Jim Jones and his followers used to poison themselves and each other.

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