Tag Archives: New Year

2021–New Beginnings

It’s another new beginning. A new year. It could scarcely fail to be a better one than the last. Nonetheless, it’s off to a mixed start in the America, with the attack on the US Capitol.

We had hoped to be able to dispense with posts about Trump by now. Yet here we are, already well into 2021 and I must offer more pending his departure, in no more than 11 days from the White House, perhaps fewer. Will he resign? Be removed via the 25th Amendment or impeachment and conviction? Who can say.

By now I would usually have recapped the successes of the prior year and noted the goals or determinations for the new one. I don’t make resolutions; those are the things that late night talk show hosts mock for the failure of so many to achieve. Let’s skip the recap. Being retired and living atop a hill nearby to a small town kept us safe from the pandemic. Risk yes; trauma no—other than the usual ailments that accompany aging. Enough to deter some goals.

It’s only now that I am putting up my first post. I’ve been busy working on that compilation of short stories, verse and more that must be completed soon. Must only because that’s the determination. Without discipline to overcome obstacles that inevitably arise, goals will not be achieved. Thus, no resolutions. Tasks and an action plan—with a schedule, despite the likelihood it may have to be amended.

Meanwhile, America’s President has desperately done everything he could to retain power—unsuccessfully. Tacitly encouraging his most extreme followers to stage an insurrection. Over the past four years he has made such people feel free to engage in extreme rhetoric and violent behavior. All the while he has called for law and order and suppression of peaceful protestors against systemic racism and the policies of his own administration.

Among my goals for this year—and beyond, is to heal the divide that Trump has fostered and awaken those poor souls who have been deluded by him.  Those conned into believing that he cares anything at all for their welfare. Projecting his own psychoses onto them that he won an election that he lost and that it was rigged against him.

As Timothy Snyder recently said from Vienna, it is truth that is required to dispel the “Big Lie.” That big lie is what Trump has been spreading since November 3rd. [More on Snyder here]

I must create value each day—not only in my own life but in the world. That is my paramount determination.  That means less ranting about the malevolence of Trump and his sycophants who share his perspective that it’s their own advancement and benefit that is their guiding principle. Most, while professing some allegiance to the advancement of fellow Americans, have no other principles–that’s all they have!

So, here are some of my goals:

Get that first book out early spring. Then a novel in the fall. Both have many words already written. The novel requires more writing—plus editing and revisions. Watch for updates here—on release dates and progress along the way.

To get those books done, I must have a clear mind that is fatigue free. That’s not always the case—for reasons undetectable by my doctor. So, I must fix that myself. That is more a determination than a goal. One that I must achieve through my own assiduous practice of Buddhism.  As the Buddha says, one must be the master of one’s own mind rather than letting mind master oneself.

And, as Daisaku Ikeda says, “The real struggle in life is with ourselves. The true secret of success is the refusal to give up, the refusal to fail; it lies in the struggle to win the battle against one’s own weaknesses.”

Another goal–more mundane, perhaps, is financial management and planning. I have no expectation of an early demise, but I must simplify our finances and create some mini-tutorials for my wife just in case. The division of labor worked well when we were both working and had children under 20 at home. Now we both need to be able to do all a household’s tasks.

Yes, there’s many more objectives, but you don’t need to know about them all. Consider this one: There’s that vacation to Europe that didn’t happen last year. The one that’s paid for. Will it happen this year? Not so sure about that. But we must go somewhere. Even if it’s not until fall. COVID limits planning month’s in advance—as we and our travel agent would prefer. Maybe Canada with our dog—when Trudeau will let us American’s cross the border again. We don’t need an agent to do that.

The point is to have no regrets and to be confident and at ease with the turmoil that sometimes prevents completing tasks per a schedule. Defy the satirists and achieve those “resolutions” that you may have already set for yourself. If you need help. Check out this post from a past year. It has some tips to get you there.

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Wag the Dog 2 Released for the New Year 2020!

Happy New Year!

If only I’d had a New Year’s post ready on December 31st. Oh well.

Before we get to MY recap and 2020 goals, a few words from our “sponsor”—America’s someday soon former President:

Forget Nasty Nancy and her fake impeachment. There’ll be no Benghazi while I’m Commander-in-Chief. Our great military just killed an evil Iranian general that was plotting against us.

Israel, other allies and other presidents could have taken out Soleimani at any time over the last 20 years. They didn’t want to deal with foreseeable (and unforeseeable) consequences. Trump, the Idiot-in-Chief, could have directed the hit at any time during his first three years in office.

It MUST be just a coincidence that the strike comes now.  With the impeachment trial coming soon to Moscow Mitch’s Senate.

Take this as a clue to what more may be in store for America in 2020, during and after the interregnum in the Senate. Be afraid, be very afraid.

BUT—America will survive. Our democracy will Triumph over Trump—whatever he does. So long as we have faith and work together to make it happen.

He WILL be gone sooner or later–by January 20, 2021. Karmic retribution is coming soon to a White House near you.

  • Trump may have a stroke, a heart attack or some other acute medical incident.
  • He might resign (unlikely).
  • He could be removed (unlikely—except, more whistleblowers or more leaks of worse deeds may come out).
  • Failing all else, he will lose in November.
  • We just have to keep from the worst from happening. Perhaps including Trump running naked down Pennsylvania Avenue shooting people. William Barr and Trump’s other legal flunky failures says Trump couldn’t be arrested or investigated—much less charged for his offenses.

Back to our regularly scheduled post.

Once again, Happy New Year.

Highlights of happenings—goals met in 2019. Plans forestalled. The past year didn’t surpass 2018.

We’re not defeated, just a little wiser and more determined for 2020—and beyond.

The short story collection didn’t happen—too many intervening events (see the post on John’s Writing). But a great Eagle Peak Annual did.

A wonderful four days in Puerto Vallarta began the year the end of February. Another four days in Florida ended the year–a Many Treasures Conference (for Buddhist practitioners aged 65 and up).

The mental and physical fatigue is gone, thanks to cutting back on Allopurinol (maybe I don’t have gout after all) which apparently produced that side effect.

Three friends of 35-40 plus years passed away in 2019. The last one just after our return from Florida. That prompted finally getting to work on that will—and an advance health care directive, durable power of attorney for finances, etc. Complicated, tedious, challenging. But the alternative is chaos for survivors.

So, 2020 will see another annual. It will also see a modified schedule for writing—that won’t include bold pronouncements of when what will be coming. At least not until we are sure when something is really coming.

2020 will also see our longest and most expensive vacation ever. Twenty-five days. We deserve it for our 40th anniversary. That, by the way, also occupied some major planning time last fall, six months ahead.

Go ahead, make some resolutions, goals or determinations for the New Year. Just be flexible. Adapt to unexpected obstacles. Don’t be too ambitious, but don’t give up too easily at the first sign of the natural resistance to forward progress. Stuff happens. Get past it.

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Goals or Resolutions?

Is it semantics or is there a difference between a goal and a (New Year’s)resolution? I’m not sure it matters, but I am sure that just as each flip of the monthly calendar page at the end of December begins a new year, each flip of the 365-day calendar begins a new day. In other words, whether you make a resolution or a goal, you start fresh on it each day–not just at the beginning of the year. So while it is refreshing to make goals or resolutions for the coming year, it is most important to keep working on them each day. Days without progress or even with setbacks will occur; continued efforts will result in victory.