There are a lot of things that can be said about 2019.
And for me, personally, in my day-to-day life — I can’t really say it was a terrible year. It’s a terrible year for the world and society at large, and my heart breaks daily while trying to cope with all the little fires everywhere, as Celeste Ng titled her book. But it’s hard for me to fully frown at a year in which I visited Costa Rica, Austria and Ireland, stayed in a pre-Civil War house, met Jonathan Carroll, attended and threw multiple parties for wonderful, fascinating people, appeared on convention panels, wrote a novel, edited an anthology, saw my short stories published and created an e-book of 100-word drabbles.
And that’s really only a small number of the things I’m thankful for.
That said, the end of any year makes me think about how next year could be better, and after a chat with my beloved spouse, we’ve decided that in the new year, we’re going to see how long we can not buy anything.
Of course, there are qualifications. Here’s what we’re gonna do:
In the past, I’ve done all kinds of “resolutions.” They’re easier to do when you know they can’t possibly last forever. One year, I decided to see how long I could go without chocolate. By May, I was bargaining: Well, a chocolate-chip cookie isn’t ALL chocolate, right? And so that went by the wayside. But what I learned in the meantime is that by limiting one favored taste, I opened up many other choices I might not have considered. So by the time it crumbled away … I now knew more about myself and what I could enjoy.
This is meant to be like that. I’m sure there will be something that must be bought, or will be bought accidentally, that does not fall into the small exceptions categories. But we’re gonna try. The idea is: let’s not add to the landfills.
Think you’ll give it a shot? If not, how do you plan to make 2020 different?
Happy New Year, y’all. Let’s all pray for the best.