I can't swear that I didn't reuse some words in this piece. I tried to pay attention, but proofreading isn't one of my better skills. I took this week's prompt as a test of how many A words I could think up. I'll admit I started cheating, but sometimes getting a word off the computer reminded me of quite a few more words lurking in my mind. I also remembered words that I couldn't define. I can't really explain why I'd know a word exists without knowing how to use it. I'm not sure I'll ever really understand my own brain, but I continue to look at it as an interesting object worth studying.
I started another painting, but it isn't far enough along to show it to you yet. Instead, let's look back at the year that was.
I'm reminded that I've spent much of the last year obsessed with the news. I try to ignore it, but I can't. Sometimes my obsession leaked into my posts. I tried to keep that at a minimum because I like to get along and share happier thoughts. Some of the things I wrote about in the last year feel like they happened a super long time ago. Did I testify in court in February?! I'm pretty sure that was at least 5 or 6 years ago. Went to the cheese factory with Bro2? That had to be in some other year too. Some things feel so immediate I can't believe they happened months ago. I'm also reminded of things that I didn't discuss but were seeping through the tone of my posts.
I lost 3 friends in 2017. Two died, one was very old, one was too young. The third friend is just going in a different direction with different values and priorities than me. It happens. It's sad. I wish him well. I found out another friend died a couple of years ago. I hadn't kept up with him, but I'd kept him in my heart. Even though he died a while ago the fact of his death is new to me. I'm feeling my own mortality.
I ranted about wildlife more than is seemly, which is ironic coming from a life-long environmentalist. I even married a professional environmentalist at one time. That was a mistake, but hey, live and learn. My deer and groundhogs are safe from my murderous thoughts, still brimming over with glossy health. I expect they'll demolish this year's garden and I'll probably complain about it.
I wrote a book. I even sent out a number of query letters to publishers. I still think the book should be published, but I didn't send enough queries. I just collapsed on my momentum. I mean really, I already devoted all that time writing the thing. Why do I have to put in energy to sell it? Besides, it's a non-fiction effort on a topic I want to forget (working for Religion). I'm adjusting my attitude about this starting next week.
I painted this year, real paintings that I'm proud of myself for creating. I did some illustrations for magazines. That felt good. Sometimes I wrote about making art too.
Mostly, I think the past year was focused on decluttering my mind, pulling out past issues that never seem to die and trying to find a new way forward, taking time to breathe and evaluate what really matters to me. I've spent a lot of time studying better ways to accomplish these goals too. I'm pretty sure those topics will come up in some future posts.
Wishing everyone a happy, successful, productive 2018!