This is the time of year people start thinking about what went on over the past twelve months. I think it’s one reason the holiday season causes many to stress out and become depressed. This year I have heard talk in many quarters that 2016 was not a good year, in fact in many places and for many reasons it was a downright rotten year, Certainly I had my rotten moments and painful experienxes. As this year winds down, so does the life of my favorite aunt who has been in and out of the nursing home and it now looks like she will be staying there. In the spring I lost my wonderful Tony to apparent cancer in less than a week. The house is still way too quiet with out his special talk each morning. I am concerned and unhappy with the backlash from the election, the armed assault on liberty at Standing Rock. The world as a whole is in a mess and I can only do what I can do. I can work on myself as I have been. I can practice ahimsa, non-injury. I can follow the injunction of the Hippocratic oath “First do no harm.”.
I don’t use pesticides and other chemicals lke those in some household cleaners. I recycle almost everything and barely produce any trash. I try not to harm the planet. I take good care of my cats. They get high quality food, regulat vet exams, lots of play and cuddle time and in general like revolves around them. They are indoor cats. This protects them from disease and injury and protects potential prey. I don’t own a television. I despise cable companies forcing people to buy what they want to sell rather than what you want to buy and not giving choice. Occasionally I am in place where television is available and am amazed at how little there is worth watching. All the hours that would be wasted are used for things like writing, playing with the cats, doing tai chi, gardening and reading.
I don’t harm myself with junk food. I support local restaurants serving fresh food instead of chains where all the entrees are junk food or pre-frozen things that have lost all nutritional value. Most of the time I cook at home. I buy from the farmer’s market and use organic items when I can. You will not find many cans or bozex in my cupboards. Foods with a multi-year shelf life are suspect in my view. All our water is triple filtere and the cats drink theirs from a fountain with still another filter. They are smaller and it takes less to do them harm. The modern environment is a chemical minefield, I take nothing for granted. Taking good care of myself is also part of my obligation to the cats. In rescue work you see many sad things, but oe of the saddest is an elderly cat who has lost their home of many years because their person has died or gone into care.
How did I do this year? I met my main investment goals and I am glad. This puts us closer to being able to find the perfect house we have longed for, with a screened enclosure for the cats and a walled garden for our food and medicinal herbs. I lost weight this year, gently and by eating healthy food as did the cats. I got all my long avoided dental work done, part of my vow to take care of myself for the cats. I did not get as far with my educational goals as I wanted but I did finish the monumental task of sorting through all my belongings, and I mean all, both to streamline and simplify my life, and to lighten the load in preparation for moving.
I don’t review the year to beat myself up, but to take stock, get a realistic assessment of where I stand so I can work out how to get further along. I want 2017 to be a much better year. I want to be able to help more people in more ways than I did this year. I want to stop squandering my precious time repairing and struggling with the house of a landlord who is not carrying his end. I want to improve my financial situation. In this day and age, anyone not actively doing that is failing behind, but also, it is necessary to improve our housing situation. We have dreams but dreams vanish when you awaken unless you act to make them manifest in the waking world. And you can’t get to where you want to go if you don’t know where you are when you start