Worth doing right

I believe in living life the way that you want to live it every day, and if you do that, you don’t really need to have New Year’s resolutions — Tom Ford

Happy New Year, folks!

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I suppose I could do a little reflecting on 2017. I’m not talking about reflecting on the questionable state of humanity in its current manifestation. I’m talking about reflecting on the year I’ve had. As per usual, there are probably some things I won’t get into specifics about, but I think you’re used to me being evasive when necessary, anyway.

I set out at the end of 2016 and beginning of 2017 with a list of goals or little things I wanted to achieve. Let’s be honest, it’s the little things can add up to something amazing down the road. I made a list of 12 things that I wanted to get the opportunity to experience and grow from, as a result, for 2017.

I managed to achieve all these small goals, except for two. Actually, it’s one because the other one is a work-in-progress. By the way, I think about half of these goals kind of fell into my lap. The power of positivity and being a bit laser-focused, I guess. And to be honest, the one that didn’t come to fruition was one I figured wouldn’t happen anyway, given my track record in that particular area. I guess one could call it a throwaway. If it happened, great. If it didn’t, it wouldn’t have taken away from all the other things that were achieved. What has been achieved, has been diminished.

Aside from my trip to Mexico back in October, one of the highlights, if not the highlight of 2017, was the field research I did back in February. I conducted the research locally. I didn’t have to go anywhere outside of the country which is kind of a shame but I made up for that with Mexico.

Out of the field research I did in February, I found myself a wonderful technical advisor and a really cool individual. Well, I think he’s cool. I will only refer to him as an acquaintance right now because we haven’t seen each other since February, but that’s about to change. I need his experience and knowledge again because of what my writing project needs at this stage of the first draft. I’m looking forward to seeing him again in the next few weeks. He’s always willing to answer my questions and amuse himself when I share my mildly hair-brained ideas with him. And we will meet up again later this year to review certain aspects of my project. Only then, will I refer to him as a friend afterwards.

Sometimes, it can be a bit presumptuous to refer to someone as a friend with whom you’ve only spent a short amount of time. I asked for his help in the context of my writing. I wasn’t approaching him with the idea of becoming friends somewhere down the road. First and foremost, I was doing research. Without a doubt, finding him was one of the best things I have done for the story I want to tell. What he brings to the storytelling table are small details and those are immeasurable. It’s a bonus that we get along very well and we have similar sensibilities. So, yeah, this is a friendship in the making.

My trip to Mazatlán back in October yielded a lot interesting information and memorable experiences, especially when I went outside of the city to visit the rural areas, Durango state and the Sierra Madre Occidental. It is beautiful country in that part of Mexico. Yes, the more tropical locations, such as Mazatlán and other coastal towns/cities, certainly have their visual charms but I have an affinity, a preference for places like the city of Durango, Mexico City, Guadalajara and the Sierra Madre.

Other tidbits from 2017? Well, I made some new friends. Pretty interesting friends. We’ll let that percolate.

Honestly, my top 2017 highlights are things that relate to or inspire my creative process. Everything else is just the mundane but necessary snippets of life.

Creatively, 2017 has been pretty cool. I might be understating that. Some people might consider it awesome with regards to some of the things I’ve done or am reaching for. But I reserve the right to say it’s been pretty cool. And I have every intention of having it continue in 2018.

I have no need for New Year’s resolutions. I will just have another list of small goals that will add up to something amazing in the long run. I don’t do sprints. I do marathons. I’m in it for the long haul because anything worth creating, anything worth having and anything worth experiencing is worth doing and worth doing right.

Fools and adventure await

New Year’s Resolution: To tolerate fools more gladly, provided this does not encourage them to take up more of my time – James Agate

While tolerating fools more gladly sounds like a great idea, the fools I’ve dealt with have always felt emboldened to take up more of my time until I told them to go fuck themselves.

I’ve tolerated boatloads of fools to last me several lifetimes. I’m done with fools. But I know as much as I’d love to go the rest of my life without dealing with fools, malcontents (the bad kind, not the good kind) and morons, I know they will keep popping up in my life. And in everybody’s life, for that matter.

A New Year’s resolution to tolerate fools more gladly is not on my list… assuming I ever had a list to begin with.

My resolution is easy. To make the coming year more interesting than the last. I think that covers a lot of stuff. And the ‘interesting’ bit of the resolution can refer to things or situations that give you joy or grief. I never said the resolution was geared exclusively to positive things, even though that’s what I’m aiming for. The possibility of falling short is always there.

2014 has been surprisingly good year. The biggest accomplishment being the completion of my first novel back in January. Even though I’ve had most of the year to mull it over and embrace it, I still don’t really think of myself as a writer or a novelist. That’s probably because I still have a day job I still enjoy on occasion. Maybe when I write my second novel, I’ll finally accept the label.

I also managed to find a balance in my life that kept me sane even when things had gone awry. It helps being relationship-free. None of the drama and self-doubt that you fall into when you discover out you’re with the wrong person.

I suppose there are benefits to being in an emotionally and physically intimate relationship with someone. That’s what I’ve been told. I’m only familiar with a lot of mirages. A lot of talk and nothing to back it up.

Yep. My love life is either a train that never left the station or it suffered a derailment with no hope of rescue and cleanup. I find the whole thing draining. It upsets the balance I had before I thought about boarding the train and leaves me trying to locate (yet again) my sanity and the balance that fucked off without telling me where it went.

Yeah, I take full responsibility for my choices. Every single one of them. Good, bad and ugly. At least I had the sense to eventually walk away when and after things went sideways.

Maybe 2015 will be better. But I’m not holding my breath.

Aside from having a romantically bruised and beaten heart, I really am looking forward to 2015. Adventure awaits. Pretty sure New York City and New Jersey will be destinations this year. Vancouver is a given because that’s where my bestie lives. Besides I want to meet her handsome new furball, Tigger. Apparently, he bounces like his namesake, too. Calgary might be a stopover before Vancouver but I’ll have to figure that one out.

Literary adventure awaits, too. Once the research begins, I know writing the story that has been simmering in my head for over a year, will be a blast.

But before I start the new year with loads of promise, I plan to finish off 2014 by attending my first ever Winnipeg Jets game since their return. Should be fun and noisy. Then there is a bottle of Spanish cava waiting to be opened just before the stroke of midnight. But it does hinge on me actually figuring out how to uncork it without breaking something. Maybe I should start figuring it out around 11:30 pm.

That should give me plenty of time, right?

Happy New Year, everyone!