Taking 2022 Head on!
My goals for 2022: Finalize retirement planning. That means disengaging from my last community activity, travelling the USA and Europe (C-19 permitting), completing my writing projects, participating in more open mic readings, more de-cluttering, and disposal of all the books and music and tapes and “stuff” accumulated over the past fifty-seven years or so, and playing with my stamps and my wife (not necessarily in that order).
Time and Place in Space – while I was taking care of my mother years ago, I learned that people who find themselves struggling with memory need gentle reminders of who and where and when they are.
I am starting 2022 with Journaling 101, again.
The theme for my so-called journal that I have started and stopped over the past few months is Y-T-T, which stands for Yesterday-Today-Tomorrow.
Yesterday: The idea here is for me to sit in reflection to recall the details of my life from the previous day or days past. My short-term memory has been acting up for the past two or three years, to the point of being more than just annoying. By starting the journal with Yesterday, it forces me to sit and think, even if for just a moment. What did I eat? Who did I meet? Where did I go? What did I do?
Today: This is another control mechanism. It forces me to stop and think again on what I want to do to make my day productive. Do I have an appointment? What should I do? Where should I go?
I used to live and die by calendars. During my years in the military, it was the training calendar and the maintenance schedules that controlled my daily life. Much like a fireman, being ready in case the siren sounds was the mission. The University of Texas at El Paso took another four years, and a few squashed weeks, of my life where the semester class schedule ruled supreme.
I carried a Sierra Club planning Calendar with me everywhere I went during my years at the El Paso Convention and Visitors Bureau. My day was always filled with a variety of tasks and meetings.
Being active in my community at so many different levels in the past 30 plus years demanded that I be everywhere. You can believe me when I say that kept my daily calendars very full over the years.
Since my informal retirement, meaning unemployed and out of business, I have ignored calendars altogether for the past few years.
Nowadays, I wake late most mornings. There are fewer Zen-like moments where I contemplate my relationship to the Universe around me. The big challenge is to shower and dress and start the day.
Tomorrow: This is the last of the control measures that I have set for myself. Once again, it forces me to think for a moment about the future. These days, the future seems closer than it did when I was younger. It was easy to think in weeks and months and years ahead and plan activities. Not so much now. Now I have to force myself to think beyond the here and now and the write it down so as not to forget what I wanted to do, where I wanted to go, and who I wanted to meet for coffee.
In between all of this, I vow not be lured in by social pressure to be more connected than I already am now. There is no “smart” phone in my future if I can help it. My 3G Flip-phone is dying and ATT treats me as an anachronistic throwback – no service next month unless I upgrade.
My political and community activities are close to zero now. Except for advising on some Veteran issues, the year 2022 will see me uncouple from everything. I see a lot of cozy afternoons reading to some soft jazz and classical music.
How will I accomplish this you ask? Well, boobie, if I do not have my phone programmed to display your name, I may not answer your call – I may just be rude and let the call go to voice mail. The term “24/7” will be dropped from my vocabulary, sorry.
Starting in March, I will be 9-5, M-F.
For insights into my psyche, people can follow me on social media: Bill Sparks | Facebook. There is no Tik Tok, no twitter, no Instagram, no snapchat, etc., just good old fashioned face book. There was a page on MySpace, but that is long gone. I cannot remember the password and no longer have the SBC email from back in the day.
Enough about me – now on to politics:
Our world, our country, our state, and our community are facing a year of recovery from the madness of C-19 and all of its ups and downs. We are also facing a changing political landscape with the upcoming midterm elections.
I encourage everyone eligible to get to know the candidates that put their name out there to stand for elected office. Get to know the candidates up close and personal. Ask tough questions. Know where they stand on the issues. Get to know if they are just pandering for your vote, or if they have an agenda that may not serve our community well.
Enough politics for now.
Some common sense for 2022: until the danger of C-19 (versions A to Z) goes away, wash your hands, keep your distance, wear your mask in public, get vaccinated, get boosted.
For the New Year of 2022, my wish for everyone: be well my friends, be happy, be safe.
There is more of course, there is always more … sin fin …