This has been an interesting year.

In some respects this goes with the Chinese curse of “May you live in interesting times”.  In some respects it has simply been full of odd and unusual, fascinating things.  In some respects it has just been interesting as opposed to uninteresting…and in some ways it’s very much Joss Whedon’s definition from Serenity: Mal: “Define interesting?” Wash: “Oh god oh god we’re all going to die?”

Much of the latter is due to the outside world, and things I personally can do little to directly impact.  I voted in the election, I continue to stand up for anyone who is feeling unsafe in these uncertain times, and I will continue to do whatever I can to offer support in any way my friends and loved ones needs should matters deteriorate.

What I cannot continue to do is focus on those things, because I can’t directly change them.  I will resist where necessary, call out BS when appropriate (and possibly less so, depending), and I will donate time, effort and if possible money to worthy engines in place to support love over hate, unity over separation, inclusiveness over exclusivity and so on.

What I need to focus on now, however, is my own life, my own paths, my own thoughts and feelings and actions.  If I get caught up in matters I want to change but can only indirectly effect without putting my own house into order, so to speak, I will be of no good to anyone.

What does that mean?  What it means is that I need to turn my focus away from this big-picture stuff, and look at my own life, my own accomplishments, my own thoughts and feelings and actions.  I need to work on me, do what is necessary for myself, and pay attention to this little corner of the world which I call my own.

One of the key matters in regards to this, though, is not to get caught up in self-recrimination, or judgement in regards to selfishness.  This is self-care, not a selfish act.  If I do not work on my own mindfulness, my own awareness and the here-and-now, I will be able to do very little to have any real impact on the bigger picture.

It is impossible for me to ignore the big picture.  The results of the Presidential election and surreal uncertainty borne of that; the tragic number of popular celebrity deaths; the devastation of war in Syria and elsewhere; the rise of arch-conservative powers around the globe in response to the changing world; all of these are noteworthy, all are matters of concern of varying degrees, and some may even have devastating consequences and are frightening.  Yet they are beyond my personal reach, beyond my ability to have a direct impact and effect worthwhile change.

These matters are relevant, but I personally can do little about them.  It’s important to acknowledge that.  But I am not ignoring them or disregarding them…I am keeping mindful of their goings-on, and I am looking for ways that I CAN effect change, whether it’s writing an opinion piece on these matters or donating to a cause to help change them or support something better than them, or some other manner I have not thought of that WILL be effective.

That being said, it’s time to review NOT the big-picture year-that-was, but rather my own, personal 2016.  What has this past year wrought for me, and how will that impact my paths?

On many levels this has been a good year.  I got this new job which has been good for me on multiple levels, published the first full-length novel in my Steampunk series, maintained this blog and Positivity and added a third weekly post with Crossing the Bridges, and strengthened all of my relationships, whether intimate, personal or professional.  I have been tracking my diet and exercise, though I still have a ways to go with that.  I have gotten a long ways into writing a cool space opera I look forward to sharing one day.

There have been some less-than stellar bits.  My weight has been like a yo-yo all year, and my mental state, in especial the last couple months, has been kind of rough.  I’ve had doubt and uncertainty about some of my chosen paths, but apart from that I am working to consider my thoughts, what I am feeling, and from there how I am acting more carefully.

This particular year has been rough for many people on many levels, but it is coming to an end.  I would certainly never tell anyone how to grieve for the things that they grieve for, but I would suggest that we cannot remain focused on grief.  We need to find our strength, and to focus on that if we want to consciously create a better reality.

Mourn the things you need to, but find good things to celebrate.  Everyone has something from the passing year that was not awful, and we need to give that energy and attention, too.  I know that can be difficult, but if all of our attention remains on negative things, we tend to create more things to feel negative about.  Take a moment to give some attention to positive things, because I know that’s what I want to have more of for myself, and I suspect you likely feel the same.

The New Year is upon us.  If we truly want it to be better than the year that is ending, we need to look to better things to come.  May your paths be true and strewn with few obstacles and many wonders.

What do look forward to in the New Year?


GOAL LOG – Week 51:

Diet:  Fairly unchanged, though a bit of overindulgence with the holidays.

Exercise: Only one day at the gym.

Writing:  The three blogs got written

Meditation:  One day of mediation, about 7 minutes.

Gratitude: I wrote five things I was grateful for six days last week.

Please note that The Goal Log will be relocated in two weeks to my Crossing the Bridges posts.

This is the two-hundred sixty-first entry in my series. These weekly posts are ideas and my personal experiences in walking along the path of life.  I share this journey as part of my desire to make a difference in this world along the way.

Thank you for joining me.  Feel free to re-blog and share.

The first year of Pathwalking, including some expanded ideas, is available here.

If you enjoy Pathwalking, you may also want to read my Five Easy Steps to Change the World for the Better.