Oh my, 2023 feels already rich with promise and delight, wouldn’t you agree? The New York Times has set us up with the 7-Day Happiness Challenge, and The Brain Revolution Podcast shared the Harvard Business Review article “Why Purpose–Not Passion– Should Guide Young Professionals.” Between the two I am feeling that January will be an avenue toward brighter days. Sure, those House Republicans are (currently 10 failed Speaker Votes in) trying to undermine the functions of government. But let’s face it, anyone who actually voted for Lauren Boebert or Marjorie Taylor Greene in the first place, so that they could remove the metal detectors from the Capital building before doing their job, is getting exactly what they wanted. Pure and Total Chaos with a capital C. Maybe it’s the high school teacher in me, but their strategy seems like a recipe for disaster propelled by their narcissistic bragging rights first and foremost. I teach thinking skills coupled with empathy for others that these privileged folks clearly skipped over in their education. So, until those paid public politicians actually stop giggling over their antics and get to work, I will continue to shut them out of my daily and instead feel all the love and gratitude from the core of my family and friends who really do care about me and my best interests. Good plan, right? I propose a conservatorship of your own heart.
If there is but one gift that 2020 brought to our small spinning globe, it is a real understanding of the transient nature of life. We have stood witness as industry and commerce and worship and governance and every aspect of our daily existence stalled. Death came calling too. To date COVID-19, something we had never heard of a short year ago, has extinguished 1.97 million lives: from your family to those in Mexico, from Iran to India, from China to the White House, COVID disrupted our every interaction and halted our every routine. Reflecting on 2020, I shudder to think of how much wine I consumed, how rarely I put on leather shoes to go do something professional, instead how many hours I doom-scrolled, fretted or cried or spent angry. Eager to hold onto our fleeting and magnificent lives despite all the restrictions, we retreated into our homes, and over the ensuing months began to read poetry and fiction again, used our phone to call friends, dreamt outlandishly about the future and recalled our best memories fondly, and even created something like love from that swirling ball of fear and chaos and forced void. We found, as Dickinson so aptly wrote, “Hope” is the thing with feathers.
Before 2018 fades into the dust, I decided to trip back through Nine Cent Girl to rediscover what a fabulous year it truly was for me. Travel loomed large this past year, as did love with the family and outdoors, and having fun with fashion. Yes to questioning life. I still lend advice on just about everything in post after post, perhaps rather lavishly, but in all honesty, I do so for myself as well as all of you. I wrote this retrospective post for those of you who may have missed a weekly entry or two last year, or, just in case you’d like to revisit. Ready? Let’s do this wearing a splashy pink wig, and glasses that reflect the world back right back to you, as I wore for: “A Light Exists in Spring.”