“I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read and all the friends I want to see.”
Well. I originally wrote this at the end of 2016 for 2017 and when rereading I said “Holy Shit!” <to myself> I want to say the same thing heading into 2018 <and now 2019!!>. So I am. I have gone back through and made some slight revisions but the thought still remains the same <2017 was almost as shitty a year as 2016>.
It seems at the end of every year I have written something about predictions for the upcoming year <some right and some wrong>. But this year it is about attitude and only about attitude for
2017 2018 2019.
Why? It would be incredibly easy to say
2016 2017 2018 sucked.
I don’t care if you made gobs of money or got married or had some unfathomably awesome experience … you only had to look around you and see that pretty much everyone but you <and some nutjobs who still believe Trump is a smart businessman, smarter than the rest of us & authentic> had a shitty year.
elected president was only the bacteria ridden cherry on top of the melted sundae made with a scoop of your least favorite ice cream.
But back in July I said, unequivocally, I did not want to cancel 2016 <and I listed all the reasons why I would not> and just because some asshat
was elected became president with the most powerful position in the world since then, a bunch of people passed away that seemed like it was too soon and there were a variety of misguided deeds and words randomly dispersed around the world, nothing has changed my mind. I did not want to cancel 2016 or even 2107 or even 2018.
And, maybe more importantly & relevant to how I view
2017 2018 2019, I do not believe because this year was shitty <and it was> that next year will be worse <although I was wrong about 2017 & 2018 which were just different versions of shitty>. Frankly, I don’t think it is healthy to fill your face book page or Instagram or even the coffee room in the office with all the negative perspective bullshit <or if you are a pseudo intellectual … be a nihilist>.
I will not unfollow anyone nor will I ‘de-friend’ anyone nor will I even stop talking with the doomsayers, in fact, I will take them on. I will not try and convert anyone to optimism but I certainly will lay out some pragmatic practical possibilities of what could be which do not suggest a shittier
2017 2018 2019 than 2016 2017 2018, but rather how each year is simply another year as a ‘work-in-progress.’
My view is always progress is progress and movement is good. Sometimes you step up. Sometimes you step back. Sometimes you step out of the way. But at all times you are moving and not stagnant.
I am not an optimist nor am I even optimistic <overall>.
I read the news and watch far too many of the alternative universe spouting news channels.
I live in the real world where bills can sometimes be tough to pay and friends lose jobs and die.
I can certainly get discouraged on occasion and can get concerned about genuinely threatening things.
I get a little nervous about the safety, security and direction of a nation I love.
I am human and not out of touch.
I do not think we are doomed or Armageddon is upon us.
In some ways I am the Sisyphus of pragmatic idealism <let some philosopher try and tease out the contradictory truth in that>. In The Myth of Sisyphus we view a man’s futile search for meaning, unity, and clarity in the face of an unintelligible world devoid of God and eternal truths or values and, yet, it is suggested we should never quit in the face of seeming futility but rather “no, it requires revolt.”
That said. I am fairly sure it is within the final chapter we view the situation of Sisyphus, the guy in Greek mythology who was condemned to repeat forever the same meaningless task of pushing a boulder up a mountain, only to see it roll down again. It is here in which far too often we ignore the conclusion:“The struggle itself … is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.”
“I leave Sisyphus at the foot of the mountain. One always finds one’s burden again. But Sisyphus teaches the higher fidelity that negates the gods and raises rocks. He too concludes that all is well. This universe henceforth without a master seems to him neither sterile nor futile. Each atom of that stone, each mineral flake of that night-filled mountain, in itself, forms a world. The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man’s heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.”
Many people just do not want to get out of bed in the morning. I am not one of those people <and, I admit, there are times I don’t understand the people who do not want to get up and get doing>. In my head it can be just as hard for those of us who always keep going as it is for those who find it hard to get going.
‘Hard’ is hard in my book.
Sure. There are days when I find myself trudging along stubbornly rather than bounding along battling. but no matter what I just cannot envision any alternative to doing.
“Doing” is what I do.
I kind of figure that doing is the only thing that will enable the pragmatic practical ‘better shit’ I believe needs to be done versus the ‘bad shit’ that may be done … if I am not doing my good shit.
And, you know what? I am doing it in
2016 2017 2018 and I envision doing it in 2017 2018 2019.
“I’m not into convincing people I’m worthy.
I’m into people who’ll convince me on my worst days that I’m still worth the world.”
I have said before and will continue to say … I am not an optimist. I may be slightly idealist with regard to the inherent good in people and the belief that the arc of history bends toward what is right versus what is wrong … but an optimist I am not.
I am far too cynical and far too much of a pragmatist.
Oh. Yeah. That word ‘idealistic’ or ‘Idealism.’ I am always hesitant to toss that one out because far too often someone wants to add on ‘infantile’ or ‘unrealistic’ to it.
Maybe in my version of idealism there isn’t fantasy but rather pragmatic understanding that people do bad shit and people do good shit and that you either seek out those who do the good shit, and want to do the good shit, or sit back and let the bad shit-ters do the voodoo they do.
I refuse to let the bad shit-ters win.
I refuse even when faced with uncertainty or faced with some asshats who think their version of what good shit is the right shit.
That is my attitude. It was my attitude in
2016 2017. It has been my attitude for years. It will be my attitude in 2017 2018. And, I imagine, it will be my attitude until the day I die.
Here is what I <and all of us> have going for me in
2017 2018 2019.
The future is uncertain. It isn’t written in stone.
Yeah. Sure. The pessimistic ‘we are doomed’ people seem have a more certain view of the future – one in which it is impossible to imagine an alternative future to be optimistic about.
That seems silly to me.
I do not think it is optimistic to still find each day too short to get done what I want to get done and too short to do all the good shit I know should be done. That’s not optimism … that is simply a desire to do something and, preferably, to do good shit.
Remember. Doing is what I do.
If I were to say one thing about myself with regard to what I am good at <and I mostly think I am average at best> it would be my ability to get up every day and find some good shit to do. I don’t really care about the day itself nor do I pay much attention to whether any particular situation is good or bad — I just wake up every day thinking it is going to be too short to do all the good shit I want to do.
But. That there will be another ‘too short day’ the following day and I will wake up that day and get going all over again. That is my
2017 2018 2019. That is the only thing I find certain about the year.
That is neither hopeful nor is it optimistic that is pragmatic, practical and focused on contributing the arc of Life that I believe in.
Do I now what I am doing?
Hell no. But I am doing. And that is my attitude for 2017, 2018, 2019 and beyond.
There truly are few certainties in this world … but … I do believe that inevitably good trumps bad and that good shit gets done by people who do not believe bad shit is better. That is my attitude for
2017 2018 2019. And I tend to believe 2017 2018 2019 will be a shitload better than 2016 2017 2018 if more people had this attitude. I think we would all be able to do more good shit if we all believed each day was still too short for all the good shit we want to do.
With that … Happy New Year. And go do something good.