A New Year

If living under a rock is part of your lifestyle, able to cut all ties to both the real and virtual worlds, except for my little web site, let me be the first inform you, a new year has dawned! For the rest of us unable to find that form of freedom yet, myself included, a New Year’s wish is that one day all that aspire to become a lost soul succeed. Cunning enough to find how it's done, then brave enough to try. Laying your shoulders bare from worry and stress.

Each year it is predicted our world will meet its demise. The end is always near. Yes, in the future that tragic prediction will come to pass. By then all copies of the this column will have been erased and deleted. The language written here will have died, becoming long forgotten. I'll have been transformed into less then ash. Humans will be walking on many distant worlds, unaware of where they originated from. Until then, there is still too much to photograph for this world to end. Sadly, once there is no more to photograph, then and only then will the world truly end.

As each new year begins, I develop the similar outlook to when a vacation starts. On day one the mind set is, there will be ample time to photograph all I want. In addition, plenty of time will surely reman each day for afternoon naps. Suddenly, as a vacation nears it's bitter end, I am left wondering what became of all that time from just a few days ago?

Oh right, a few too many naps.

Around Thanksgiving, I began realizing time is short and opportunities have been missed. Again. So, remembering one’s ultimate goal during any crisis, remaining blameless while finding a private internal face saving diversion, I start a New Year's “Strategies and Goals” list. Convinced I'm doing something truly meaningful, my soul is comforted and reassured. All is right within my little world. Again.

Resolutions never worked for me, too black and white and constraining. I live mostly in the grey and mid tone areas. Since I live not in the moment but in procrastination, some years the list never even gets started. Also, I have perfected the skill of creating delaying loopholes. This means chances are good any list that may be started will never be completed, let alone followed.

A recurring problem is many items from previous lists seem to reappear on each new list. For example, the goal to “start being less me” always seems to be a list topper. Simply put, this means I need to rid myself of personal baggage and dumb rules. To toss exclusive junk out a window and into a waiting dumpster below. To move on. Intentions are always admirable, execution, well let's just say I have lots of room for improvement.

It was a long, trying, emotional year. Well, for that matter, the last few years have been. Major losses occurred. Ones I always knew were coming. Ones I never fully prepared for. Now, I find myself alone in the world, yet I'm really not. With love and support from friends and family, I was able to keep going. Continued putting one foot in front of the other. Able to keep breathing, to keep swimming. Able to recover, though not fully, but close enough. I hope I was able to wholly reciprocate love and support back to all that supported me.

In concluding, let me be the first to congratulate the survivors of the year just passed. We have made it. We are a stronger class for it. More connected from it. Humbled because of it. We all are a work in progress. Each passing year proves that. Those who say otherwise are merely fooling only themselves.

A simple question I now ask, what are you going to do with this new year? Please, do anything except waste it.

Life, it's a gift. Time, it’s length. Years, it’s measurement. Yours, to do with.

Doug Thornhill (dct)