2017 was a strange year. Among other things, I celebrated the 10th anniversary of my blog. 10 years ago I didn't even know what a blog was, and I didn't know what I was doing. I still don't.
It occurs to me I say the same boring thing every New Year's Eve. Upon reflection, I realize that goals are futile. Life is messy and keeps getting in the way. Better to go with the flow. Instead I'm going to focus on where I am in the moment. And be grateful for the things I have rather than the things I supposedly lack.
Someone - either Betsy Ross or the Buddha I'm not sure which - said that happiness relies upon disposition not circumstance. Instead of always wishing I were somewhere else, I want to stay in the moment and appreciate where I am and what I have.
In my younger days, I never would've thought I'd move so much in my life. Thank goodness I travel light. This year took me from Akron to Denver to Cleveland to Hudson and to Cleveland again. I planned to retire in Denver, because I love the mountains and weed is legal. It was not meant to be, I could not find affordable housing. This, as well as legalization of weed will be subjects of subsequent posts.
Among many of the places I have lived this year, I actually lived on the street for three days in Denver. I hope to never experience homelessness again. This will also be the topic of subsequent post.
For today, I'd like to focus on the things I'm grateful for, rather than the things I supposedly lack. As I read blog after blog and watch vlogs on YouTube, I notice people constantly share what they bought, what's new, and the many things they want. Not a judgment, I'm guilty of the same. I wrestle with guilt over my obsession with what I sometimes perceive as trivial. But damn humans sure make beautiful things don't they? That's why we should spread around the money in this country more equitably, because we'll just turn around and put it right back into the economy. A digression yes, but also the subject of a subsequent post.
I sometimes think about giving up blogging because I lack money, and must decorate on a shoestring. I'm human and am sometimes envious of the homes of those with a lot of money to spend. In addition, I actually feel ashamed that I am poor, and not what America considers a success. This will also be the subject of a subsequent post.
The thing I learned from homelessness is: there is nothing like having your own roof. If you have nothing else, you should at least have your own roof. Even if you have to sleep on the floor, like I did for a couple of months when I returned to Cleveland. I was damn happy for that roof, floor and walls. Even though it was empty, I had my dignity. I realized that a home that is empty of possessions is full of potential. And I basked in that.
I cannot believe we have homelessness in the U.S. Such a concept should be inconceivable. Homeless people don't need your tiny gifts of food, money or blankets, they need homes. A roof of your own is more important than art or furniture. Again, the subject of the subsequent post.
That said, I love beautiful things. Just not too many. Once you start downsizing, you start to realize the joys of living simply. Enjoying living a simple, organized life will be a frequent topic on the blog this year.
I don't make New Year's resolutions, because I'm trying to be a better person everyday. But I'm going to make one exception, I hope to have my book finished by the end of the year. To those friends who have been so supportive of this endeavor, I can never thank you enough.
Meanwhile my wishes for humanity this year are the same as always. I pray for peace, I pray for the end of violence. I pray for the end of war and poverty. And I pray that the pendulum shifts to a position of dignity in the White House once again. Another subsequent post.
Happy New Year dear ones. As always, thank you for reading. 2018 is going to be full of writings about simplicity, organization, art, beauty and politics. I hope you will follow along. XO