First let's review the 2016 new years resolutions...
1) Reduce my mail. This is impossible! You can mark your junk mail "return to sender" but unless it's sent first class mail, and it never is, they don't get return service, so it doesn't matter. They don't care. I also noticed that a lot of my mail is charity receipts - you donate electronically, they have to mail you a paper receipt. What the crap! Junk mail is a constant whack-a-mole game, you get off one catalog mailing list, turn around and you're on another one. I don't get it.
2) Go for walks, at least three times a day. Actually I did a good job of this, partially out of determination, partially for pokemon. In fact seeing that this was a resolution is nice because now I don't feel guilty for trying to hatch pokemon eggs.
3) Food journal. Still a good idea, but when I failed to be home on time for family dinner for three months straight due to work, all food intentions went to hell. I was constantly a day behind on meals, always eating last night's leftovers, and had no part to play in the decision process about what we'd eat.
4) Visit every Little Free Library in Wichita. I was a Little Free Library warrior this year. I kicked ass. There are 40-some in Wichita, and I've been to them all. At times this required a lot of organization, so go me for hitting it. I even made a printable crawl map for our facebook page so the whole community could keep books rotating through our LFL system. I am so awesome.
5) Mail cards. Oops. Forgot.
6) Book list: banned books. I actually got on these and read most of my list.
I loved these, please everyone read them:
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi
The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
These were young adult fiction and okay, read if you want:
The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
Drama, by Raina Telgemeier
I did not get around to reading The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison. I think I'm afraid of reading Toni Morrison.
7) Snack on carrots instead of chocolate. I was bad at this, especially when work got crazy. I lived on coffee and hot pockets.
And now for my confession: I have no idea how to do good in 2017. How to make myself better, how to make the world better. I'm in a dark place. I'm in survival mode.
We're about to have an awful, awful president with a congress to match. They're going to repeal obamacare. Your insurance company can end your coverage at any time for anything they deem is a "pre-existing condition". There will be lifetime maximum coverage, god help you if you have a premature baby who eats up your lifetime max, I guess you're just done. When you graduate college, you're off your parents insurance. This guy is in it for the money.
The economy is not going to improve. We have experimented with this in Kansas - eliminate small business taxes so business owners can grow wealth, and hope for the best. It didn't work. It never does. This is why I am scrambling. This is why I work 18 hour days. We have to hustle and be aggressive just to get by. Make a rich guy ten times as wealthy, he doesn't buy ten times as many pants, or shoes, or airplanes. There's no trickling down.
There's no money for schools. In Wichita, they extended the school day so they could have fewer days in the year. It's almost 5:00 when Josie gets out of school. Combined with my new work schedule of barely seeing the kids before bedtime, it's like we're all just extended. That's Kansas. That's going to be the world.
How are we supposed to make new years resolutions?
Hold up inside and don't go out. Keep your head down at work. Say yes to the people in power, get in on their side and secretly do what you can. Protect your people. Tell the young guys that it's all okay, nothing to see here, find the fun, isn't this fun? There's no screaming at the top, no. You're safe. Fight from the inside. Be in the inside. Don't look back.
There will be no march on washington from me, friends. I am playing the game on all fronts.